I propose to take Questions Nos. 105, 113, 125, 135 and 143 together.
As things stand in law, air passenger rights are protected by Regulation (EC) No. 261/2004, which covers the rights of passenger in instances of cancellations. However, if a flight goes ahead and a customer either cancels or does not use their ticket, they are not entitled to a refund under EU law.
Evidently the existing consumer protections and legal obligations on airlines and the broader travel sector did not envisage the current circumstances of mass cancellations and stringent travel restrictions. That has, not surprisingly, put the entire system under immense pressure and it is causing real difficulties for people and businesses. I understand that the main Irish airlines have been offering the option to rebook in circumstances where a flight occurs but people are not able to present because of Government advice. That said, I am mindful that the options put forward by airlines may not be fair or workable for customers in all instances.
There has been considerable engagement with the airlines including around consumer rights issues. Clearly, if the industry is seeking to secure State financial support to help it through the current period - which is one of the recommendations from the Aviation Taskforce - then a commitment to fairness and clarity on consumer rights will have to be offered in return, at the very least.