By Anthony O. Goriainoff
The U.K. markets regulator said Thursday that it was closing its investigation into British Airways--part of International Consolidated Airlines Group SA--and Ryanair Holdings PLC over customer refunds related to Covid-19.
The Competitions and Markets Authority said its investigation concluded that the law didn't provide passengers with a sufficiently clear right to a refund under the special circumstances brought about by the pandemic to justify continuing with the case. The regulator noted that it can only enforce the law as it stands.
"Consumer protection law sets out that passengers are entitled to refunds when an airline cancels a flight, because the firm cannot provide its contracted services. However, it does not clearly cover whether people should be refunded when their flight goes ahead but they are legally prohibited from taking it," the CMA said.
The regulator launched a probe in June 2021 into the airlines over concerns that they may have broken the law by failing to offer refunds to customers who couldn't legally fly during the lockdown.
Ryanair said it welcomed the CMA's decision to close its investigation as it operated a limited schedule during U.K. lockdowns for passengers travelling for essential reasons.
"Passengers had the option to change their bookings without paying the flight change fee and many availed of this option," the airline said.
Write to Anthony O. Goriainoff at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires