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French association plans to sue RAM for ticket reimbursement

Already stuck in an unprecedented crisis in its history, the national airline Royal Air Maroc (RAM) has not stopped suffering from the suspension of the airlines. Thus, in addition to the difficulty of reaching an agreement with its pilots, it is a summons which threatens the company, on the part of a French consumer association.

Deemed intractable, the Federal Union of Consumers “UFC-que chose”, has received more than 15000 complaints against the airlines and intends to act judicially. After giving formal notice to 57 airlines last April, and “faced with the persistence of bad practices and the false advertising”, the association decided to assign twenty of them including Royal Air Maroc.

According to the association, these companies have ignored the formal notice and “continue to violate the regulations by imposing on passengers vouchers as reimbursement for their canceled flight.” Practices that violate European regulations. Under the latter, companies must offer the consumer first choice reimbursement of the ticket, within 7 days, at the price at which it was purchased.

And to add: “These companies deliberately violate the rights of passengers, but in addition they give rise to a feeling of mistrust which will not help the restart of their sector”. And to recall that consumers are also victims of the crisis with a loss of purchasing power. Thus, the consumer association will launch an action before the Paris court. However, they said that “it does not, for the time being, seek damages to encourage companies to quickly settle down.”

An action which risks encountering a conflict of law. Indeed, the Moroccan Ministry of Tourism presented Monday, May 11 a bill to allow tourism operators and airlines to no longer have to reimburse services canceled in the midst of a coronavirus pandemic, in order to “save them from bankruptcy”.

The text, presented before a parliamentary committee, relates to “travel reservations, tourist stays and air transport” canceled “between March 1, 2020 and September 30, 2020” due to the health crisis. It aims to allow operators to offer an equivalent service, rather than a reimbursement.

The fact remains that the national company, despite this government support, can do without yet another legal action against it. While its management relies on the mobilization of its troops to overcome this crisis, a blockage continues to appear, especially among pilots, who consider that they are already affected by the crisis due to inactivity (a variable in their salary is indeed fixed according to the flights carried out). A restructuring plan therefore seems difficult to achieve and the recovery increasingly difficult….

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