The last summer of 2018 was plagued by wild strikes by pilots and Ryanair flight attendants who fought for their wages and working conditions. Thousands of European passengers were affected by these strike days. Flightright sued Ryanair before the District Court of Hamburg and last Thursday, May 9, 2019, the Irish airline accepted its responsibility to compensate the affected passengers represented by Flightright.
Oskar de Felice, legal expert of Flightright, comments: “The fact that Ryanair agrees to pay the claims of strike cases exclusively before the courts is a contradiction in terms.We have the impression that the main concern of the airline is dissuade their passengers and prevent them from claiming what is theirs, hindering the procedure as much as possible.On many other occasions, the low-cost has also agreed to indemnify only after our legal pressures.This, to our knowledge, unnecessarily complicates the application of passenger rights. ”
In the last nine months, Flightright, the leading international portal for the defense of air passengers’ rights, has brought before the courts the cases of several of its clients against Ryanair. The reason was none other than the numerous delays and cancellations of flights caused by the strike of Ryanair pilots and hostesses last summer. For jurists, the case was clear from the start: the strike was caused by years of wage dumping and questionable working conditions within the airline itself and, therefore, should be considered direct responsibility of the airline and not a ” extraordinary circumstance. ”
Last year, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled that, in case of strike, if the airline is responsible for it and therefore could have taken measures to avoid it, compensation should be paid to passengers affected by cancellations or delays that it causes. According to the Flightright lawyers, this is exactly the case with the latest strikes by Ryanair employees. However, the airline publicly ruled out the possibility of compensating its passengers, arguing that the European Regulation of 2004 considers strikes as an extraordinary circumstance.