Ryanair says it is appealing Italian antitrust fine

MILAN, May 26 (Reuters) - Ryanair is appealing a decision by Italy’s antitrust authority to fine it 4.2 million euros ($5.1 million) for not refunding costumers for flights cancelled after June 2020 due to the COVID-19 crisis, the airline said on Wednesday.

“We have instructed our lawyers to appeal this decision,” Ryanair said in an emailed statement. It said the airline had acted in full compliance with EU261 requirements and guidelines on passenger rights in the context of the pandemic.

“Customers affected by these cancelled flights have been offered all options in compliance with EU law, including free moves, refunds in the form of cash or vouchers as an additional choice, subject to the passengers acceptance,” Ryanair said.

Italy’s antitrust regulator said on Monday that Ryanair, British airline easyJet and Spain’s Volotea had behaved in a “seriously improper manner” by using the pandemic as a motive to cancel flights even after travel restrictions had ended, and by issuing vouchers rather then refunding customers.

The regulator has also fined easyJet and Volotea. ($1 = 0.8179 euros) (Reporting by Agnieszka Flak; Editing by David Clarke)