Varadkar: Ryanair must respect passengers rights

The Taoiseach says the CAR may need to become involved

Varadkar: Ryanair must respect passengers rights

Leo Varadkar speaks to the media in Tallinn, Estonia | Image: © European Union

The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar says people's rights need to be protected in relation to Ryanair cancellations.

The airline has moved to clarify passenger entitlements after a deadline was set by Britain's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). 

Yesterday, the firm promised to comply with authorities after axing thousands of flights.

The carrier had already cancelled 2,000 flights over six weeks because of the original rostering "mess-up" which disrupted some 315,000 passengers.

It comes after the CAA chief executive said he was "furious" with the no-frills carrier – accusing it of appearing to show "disregard for consumers and for the law".

The authority had pledged to bring "enforcement action" against the airline for failing to give customers accurate information about their rights.

The airline says it will fully cooperate with the CAA investigation.

Here, the Commission for Aviation Regulation (CAR) says it is dealing with 300 customer complaints about Ryanair each week - and expects that number to rise.

Speaking at an EU Summit in the Estonian capital Tallinn, Mr Varadkar says the CAR may need to become involved.

"I think it's as simple as this: people's and passengers rights need to be protected.

"So if anyone has had a flight cancelled, any airline - in this case Ryanair - needs to provide them with an alternative way of getting to where they need to go or refunding them in full.

"I'd absolutely expect the airlines to do that - and if they don't do that, I'd expect the Commission for Aviation Regulation to make sure they do".