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Belgium to take Ryanair to court over thousands of cancelled flights

The firm had already scrapped 2,100 flights in the six weeks to the end of October

AFP | PTI  |  Brussels 

Travellers wait in front of a passenger jet belonging to Irish discount airline Ryanair at Charleroi airport in southern Belgium. Photo: Reuters

has said it intends to take to court, accusing the low cost airline of illegally punishing customers hit by thousands of flight cancellations.

The has "shown a lack of professionalism", Belgian Deputy Prime Minister Kris Peeters, who handles the consumer affairs portfolio, said in a statement yesterday.

has been plagued by a pilot shortage that has led it to axe thousands of in -- and has now extended the wave of cancellations into early 2018.

The firm had already scrapped 2,100 in the six weeks to the end of October as it struggled with landing planes on time.

Based on a series of infractions, "I have lodged a cease and desist action against Ryanair, which if accepted will bring fines against the firm if the practices continue," Peeters said.

The minister accused of a series of failings, including only communicating with Belgium's French and Dutch- speaking customers in English and a failure to notify them of their rights.

Ryanair last week defended its handling of the problems saying it had emailed all hit by the latest cancellations, offering them alternative or a full refund. They have also received a 40 euro travel voucher, it said.

First Published: Thu, October 05 2017. 08:27 IST