Ryanair asks for patience as it works through 30 million refund claims

Ryanair asks for patience as it works through 30 million refund claims

Ryanair has already distributed vouchers or cash refunds worth €300 million to date

Ryanair owns tens of millions of refunds for cancelled flights despite distributing vouchers or cash refunds worth €300 million to date.

Michael O’Leary, Ryanair chief executive, insisted today: “If you want a cash refund, you can have a cash refund, but you will have to be patient.

“We’re trying to process 25 million to 30 million over a couple of months.”

He revealed the carrier had processed cash refunds to consumers or issued vouchers to the value of €300 million. But he said: “We’re coping with a backlog. It’s going to take some weeks and months to eliminate.

“The €300 million is about one quarter of the backlog for March, April and May. In a normal month we refund around 10,000 tickets.

“Three-quarters of the staff who process refunds can’t come into the office [in Dublin]. We hope to have staff in Dublin return to full numbers in June.

He suggested: “As we move through the summer and we get back to flying in July we can handle more cash refunds.”

But O’Leary added: “We can’t issue refunds until we get notice from the customer. If individual customers want a refund, they have to fill in an online form.”

He insisted: “We’re not trying to deny you a refund. Please be patient. We can automate vouchers but we can’t automate cash refunds.

“We request every customer who wants a refund to inform us where they want the refund to go.”

He declined to say how many cash refunds had been paid or how many vouchers distributed, saying only: “There are a lot more vouchers than refunds.”

O’Leary was speaking as Ryanair reported a full-year profit of just over €1 billion for the 12 months to March, up from €885 million the previous year despite the onset of the Covid-19 crisis.

The carrier reported it had €4.1 billion in cash available and had cut its monthly “cash burn” to €40 million to €60 million a week “including refunds”.