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INTERNATIONAL CONSOLIDATED AIRLINES GROUP, S.A.

(IAG)
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International Consolidated Airlines S A : UK scraps action against Ryanair, British Airways over refunds

10/07/2021 | 03:38am EST
FILE PHOTO: A Ryanair Boeing 737 aircraft approaches Paris-Beauvais airport in Tille, France

LONDON, Oct 7 (Reuters) - Britain's competition regulator has scrapped its action against Ryanair and British Airways over their failure to offer refunds to passengers prevented from flying by COVID-19 restrictions, saying the legal position was unclear.

During pandemic lockdowns, instead of offering refunds to those legally unable to fly, IAG-owned British Airways offered vouchers or rebooking and Ryanair providing the option to rebook.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) started action against the airlines in June, saying passengers who were legally unable to take flights booked in good faith should have their money back.

But it said on Thursday the law did not provide passengers with a sufficiently clear right to a refund in such unusual circumstances.

Chief Executive Andrea Coscelli said the CMA "strongly believed" the passengers should be offered a full refund.

"However, after considering the relevant law and gathering evidence in our investigation, we have concluded that the length of time that would be required to take this case through the courts, and the uncertain outcome, can no longer justify the further expense of public money," he said.

He added the CMA hoped the law would be clarified.

Ryanair said it welcomed the decision. "We operated a limited schedule during UK lockdowns for customers who traveled for essential reasons," a spokesperson said.

"Passengers had the option to change their bookings without paying the flight change fee, and many availed of this option."

British Airways said in a statement it had acted lawfully at all times during the crisis, issuing nearly 4 million refunds and offering highly flexible booking policies.

"We're grateful for (our customers') support at a time when we've been navigating dynamic and fast-changing travel restrictions to maintain a limited schedule," it said. (Reporting by Paul Sandle and Alistair Smout)


© Reuters 2021
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
INTERNATIONAL CONSOLIDATED AIRLINES GROUP, S.A. 5.69% 134.42 Delayed Quote.-20.24%
RYANAIR HOLDINGS PLC 3.30% 14.705 Real-time Quote.-12.43%
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Financials
Sales 2021 8 273 M 9 371 M 9 371 M
Net income 2021 -3 180 M -3 603 M -3 603 M
Net Debt 2021 13 196 M 14 948 M 14 948 M
P/E ratio 2021 -2,55x
Yield 2021 -
Capitalization 7 419 M 8 373 M 8 404 M
EV / Sales 2021 2,49x
EV / Sales 2022 1,05x
Nbr of Employees 50 813
Free-Float 74,5%
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Number of Analysts 18
Last Close Price 1,50 €
Average target price 2,48 €
Spread / Average Target 66,0%
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Managers and Directors
Luís Gallego Martín Chief Executive Officer & Executive Director
Stephen William Lawrence Gunning Chief Financial Officer
Javier Ferrán Larraz Chairman
John Gibbs Chief Information Officer
Alberto Miguel Terol Esteban Senior Independent Director
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