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CMA Closes Probe Into British Airways, Ryanair As Passengers Lack Sufficiently Clear Right To Refund

The Competition and Markets Authority in the UK has decided to close the investigation into British Airways and Ryanair (RYA.L,RYAAY) for failing to offer refunds for customers who were prevented from flying by Covid travel restrictions. In June 2021, the CMA launched a probe into the airlines over concerns they may have broken the law.

The CMA concluded that prolonging the investigation could not be justified given the length of time it would take to reach an outcome in the courts and the uncertain outcome. Consumer protection law does not clearly cover whether people should be refunded when they are legally prohibited from taking the flight, the CMA noted.

"Given the importance of this to many passengers who have unfairly lost out, we hope that the law in this area will be clarified," said, Andrea Coscelli, Chief Executive of the CMA.

For most affected passengers by Covid travel restrictions, British Airways offered credit voucher and fee-free rebooking options, whilst Ryanair offered a fee-free rebooking option.

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