Flights of more than 3,000 passengers scheduled to fly from Portugal to Morocco last Sunday, October 31, were canceled after Portugal banned Ryanair from operating three new routes to Morocco.
TheSchengen.com reported this issue on Tuesday, noting that other flights were also canceled in the following days, including a connecting flight:
Lisbon to Agadir on October 31 and November 1, 3 and 5 From Lisbon to Fez on October 31 and November 4 From Lisbon to Marrakesh on November 1 and 4
According to Ryanair’s commercial director, Jason McGuinness, the Portuguese Infrastructure Department unnecessarily forced the cancellation of these flights, leaving 3,000 Portuguese passengers in limbo, TheSchengen.com reports.
“Ryanair already has rights of passage to fly from Portugal to Morocco, successfully operating flights between Portugal and Morocco for more than three years, and there is no valid reason for this illegal action, which is a clear violation of EU law, on the operation of the EU Open Skies Agreement. McGuinness said.
However, it regretted the disruption and pledged to compensate the affected passengers through alternative travel arrangements and/or refunds.
“Ryanair regrets the unnecessary disruption this illegal action by the Portuguese Infrastructure Department has caused to our passengers and will deal with alternative travel arrangements and/or refunds for affected passengers,” he said.
Regarding the matter, Portuguese news agency Lusa quoted a spokesperson for the Portuguese Civil Aviation Authority as saying that Ryanair had not submitted all the required documents in time in order to be allowed to operate on these routes, despite numerous requests from the regulator.
“It would be illegal to grant permission that would violate prevailing law,” the spokesperson said.
The Portuguese Civil Aviation Authority has also undertaken to “protect, compensate and/or compensate” affected passengers as appropriate.
According to EU Regulation No. 261/2004 regarding delayed and canceled flights originating from the EU, arriving in an EU country, or via an airline located in the EU, travelers are eligible for compensation in cases where their flight is canceled. In cases where passengers are offered the possibility of re-routing, the airline is not obligated to pay any compensation.
And while Ryanair has claimed that affected passengers will be compensated through alternative travel arrangements and/or refunds, no further details have been provided in this regard. TheSchengen.com contacted the airline’s press department asking how to compensate these 3,000 passengers, but they have received no answer so far.
If Ryanair refuses to reimburse, redirect or refund such passengers, passengers may submit their refund claims through AirHelp, which is part of the Passenger Rights Advocates Association (APRA) a group whose mission is to promote and protect passenger rights.
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