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Ryanair stunned by Spanish court decision

Ryanair was last night stunned to hear a Spanish court backed an online travel agent against its policy of only accepting flight bookings from its own website.

Yesterday, a court in Madrid sided with Spanish online travel website Rumbo, who in August applied for an injunction to prevent the low-cost carrier from going ahead with its plans to cancel flight bookings made through third-party websites.

Madrid's Mercantile Court No 1 granted Rumbo's application and has banned Ryanair from cancelling tickets booked by passengers through the Spanish website.

The ruling also asks Ryanair to remove its 'screenscraper' warning from its website and to refrain from making statements discrediting other websites.

When informed of the ruling last night, Ryanair said it had not received anything from the courts in Spain and it did not have representation there. A spokesperson said the airline now has to review the decision of the Spanish court.

Back in August, the low-cost airline announced that it would not honour tickets or give refunds for flights which were not booked directly on its website, alleging the bookings were in breach of its terms and conditions.

And yesterday's ruling is the first of several expected in the coming weeks in cases brought by on-line travel agents and consumer bodies in Spain against the airline.

Rumbo's Managing Director Jose Rivera welcomed the news and said the measures ordered by the court effectively prevent Ryanair from going ahead with its ticket cancellation policy.

Belfast Telegraph