Ryanair says it is making "rapid progress" processing customer refunds for flights cancelled owing to coronavirus, and expects to have paid more than 90% of refund requests by the end of July.
Additional staff have been trained to work through the March-June refund backlog since the budget carrier reopened its offices in Dublin last month; all March refund requests have been cleared, as well as 50% of April requests.
The airline expects to process its remaining April refund requests by 15 July, and to have all May and most of June refund requests processed by the end of July.
Its figures include passengers who have accepted travel vouchers and/or free moves onto flights now being operated by Ryanair in July, August and September.
“We are pleased to have made such significant progress over the month of June in eliminating the backlog of cash refunds due to the Covid-19 flight cancellations," said Ryanair chief executive Eddie Wilson.
"More than 90% of passengers who booked directly with Ryanair and who requested a cash refund for travel between March and June will receive their refunds before the end of July."
Wilson also hit out at "screenscraping" online travel agents, and called on them to provide accurate details of unauthorised bookings, with Ryanair claiming a "significant minority" of refunds are being blocked due to OTAs using fake email addresses and virtual credit cards to make bookings which can’t be traced back to individual consumers.
"It is worrying that a significant rump of our customers, who made bookings through unauthorised 3rd party screenscrapers / online travel agencies, have yet to receive their refunds because the OTAs gave Ryanair fake email addresses or virtual credit card details for these customers," said Wilson.
"We are highlighting this fact to the regulators in Ireland and the UK as this demonstrates yet again why urgent regulation of unauthorised screenscrapers is needed to ensure these unauthorised intermediaries provide airlines accurate email addresses and valid payment details for customers so we can process cash refunds to these customers promptly and efficiently."