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Budget airline Ryanair, the largest airline in Europe by passengers carried, is being taken to court by the United Kingdom’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) for refusing to refund thousands of British customers who suffered through dozens of Ryanair flight delays and cancellations this summer.

The CAA is an independent regulations entity established by Parliament responsible for holding the aviation industry accountable in the UK. After Ryanair flatly refused to refund thousands of tickets this summer, citing pilot and cabin crew strikes, the CAA took over on behalf of those passengers, taking legal action against the low-cost carrier. The organization believes that Ryanair’s consumers deserve repayment under local laws, although the airline has taken the stance that the strikes were out of its control, and therefore do not fall under the restrictions of the law. The budget carrier has successfully evaded refunding customers in other European countries.

“Courts in Germany, Spain and Italy have already ruled that strikes are an ‘exceptional circumstance,’ ” Ryanair said in a statement. “We expect the UK CAA and courts will follow this precedent.”

Featured photo of a Ryanair 737-800 at Milan Malpensa airport, February 28, 2018, by Alberto Riva/TPG)

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