Ryanair, easyJet, others offer refunds after watchdog inquiry

FILE PHOTO: A Ryanair Boeing 737 and and an Easyjet Airbus A320 are seen at Luton Airport, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Luton, Britain, April 26, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Boyers/File Photo

MILAN (Reuters) - Italy's antitrust regulator said on Friday that Ryanair RYA.I, easyJet EZJ.L, Vueling and Blue Panorama were now offering to refund passengers whose flights they cancelled citing the coronavirus outbreak.

The decision follows an inquiry opened by the watchdog last month, which said the cancelled flights were outside periods in which governments had imposed limits on movement between countries and that refunds of the tickets - an option envisaged by European rules - should have been offered.

The choice to request a voucher instead of a refund would be left entirely to the consumer, the antitrust said.

The regulator added that its own investigation into potential wrong commercial practices was continuing.

Reporting by Agnieszka Flak, editing by Maria Pia Quaglia