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June 17, 2024
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Romanian Blue Air Fined with EUR 2 M for Cancelling Flights

Romanian low-cost airline, Blue Air, was fined due to cancelled flights and after many consumer complaints.

The Blue Air operator cancelled 11,289 flights between April 30, 2021, and April 30, 2022, affecting 178,405 reservations and requiring compensation from customers in 20 Member States of the European Union totalling EUR 13 million.

The National Authority for Consumer Protection in Romania (ANPC) fined Blue Air with EUR 2 million after a series of controls made following the notifications received.

As a supplemental sanction to the imposition of this contravention fine, ANPC mandated that all cancelled reservations for which the economic operator has not properly reimbursed the amounts due, including compensation after the cancellation, be terminated and their associated compensation refunded in full within 10 days. In addition, it was mandated that no flight offers should be made available to customers on the market if the economic operator has the capabilities, resources, or means to carry them out while adhering to all stated terms and specifications.

Blue Air’s reaction

Through its Chairman of the Board of Directors, Oana Petrescu, Blue Air Company asserts that it found out about the ANPC fine from the press and rejects the numbers used by the institution.

It is not normal to find such a thing from the press. I just checked, and the company did not receive any communication in this regard from ANPC. In addition, the figures are wrong – it refers to all tickets cancelled during that period due to pandemic waves 3, 4 and 5 (which anyway represent less than 10% of all Blue Air flights in that period). Of the total number of passengers mentioned, most have either already travelled or will travel this summer.

Blue Air’s statement

Blue Air stated that ANPC shouldn’t have made the announcement public and instead, the authority should have talked to the company, clarifying the issue pivately.

It is a difficult time for the entire aviation, and the management and the people of Blue Air make enormous efforts to solve every day all the challenges that arise, so that our passengers have the predictability so necessary for a pleasant and safe holiday; I really don’t understand why we need to have this discussion now, with the press, before we had a direct communication between the company and the authority, as would have been normal.

Oana Petrescu, Blue Air CEO

In 2020, Blue Air Blue Air was close to insolvency, being severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. In other words, the company couldn’t afford to cancel flights or paying now a fine of EUR 2 million.

Blue air consumers complained to ANPC because after the cancelled flights they did not receive their money. Some clients have waited for months, while others have waited for years. Many customers indicate that they do not get responses from the business and that they are unable to get in touch with anyone to get the matter clarified. However, according to European Union regulation, clients must get their money refunded within seven days if a company cancels a flight.

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