Ryanair, easyJet and others offer refunds after watchdog inquiry

FILE PHOTO: Outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Luton

MILAN (Reuters) – Italy’s antitrust regulator said on Friday that Ryanair <RYA.I>, easyJet <EZJ.L>, Vueling and Blue Panorama were now offering to refund passengers whose flights they cancelled citing the coronavirus outbreak.

The decision follows an inquiry opened by the watchdog last month, which said the cancelled flights were outside periods in which governments had imposed limits on movement between countries and that refunds of the tickets – an option envisaged by European rules – should have been offered.

The choice to request a voucher instead of a refund would be left entirely to the consumer, the antitrust said.

The regulator added that its own investigation into potential wrong commercial practices was continuing.

Ryanair said in a note that since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, it had fully complied with travel restrictions imposed by governments and with European Union guidelines on passenger rights in relation to any flight cancellations that occurred from March 2020.

(Reporting by Agnieszka Flak; additional reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Maria Pia Quaglia and Jan Harvey)

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