Ryanair says it is making “rapid progress” in processing customer refunds for flights cancelled between March and June as a result of Covid-19.

The low-cost carrier said it had trained additional refunds staff to help eliminate the backlog, since its Dublin offices reopened on June 1.

The airline said that all March cash refund requests had now been cleared, with 50 per cent of April requests processed as of the end of June.

By July 15 the remaining refund requests from April will have been cleared, and by the end of this month, all of May and “most of June” will also have been processed, equating to 90 per cent of the backlog.

The above figures “include passengers who have accepted travel vouchers and/or free moves onto flights that are now being operated by Ryanair in the months of July, August and September”.

The news comes as the UK Civil Aviation Authority this week reiterated that airlines “must provide cash refunds to passengers who request this where a flight has been cancelled”.

“We do not expect airlines to systematically deny consumers their right to a refund, and our review is considering whether any further action needs to be taken to protect consumer rights,” the CAA said.

In releasing the figures Ryanair also called on so called “screenscraping” online travel agents to provide details of “unauthorised bookings”, so that it can process these refunds.

“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’s CEO Eddie Wilson.

“Over 90 per cent 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.

“It is worrying however that a significant rump of our customers, who made bookings through unauthorised third 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.

“We are highlighting this fact to the regulators in Ireland (CAR) and in the UK (CAA) as this demonstrates yet again why urgent regulation of unauthorised screenscrapers is needed to ensure that these unauthorised intermediaries provide airlines with accurate email addresses and valid payment details for customers so we can process cash refunds to these customers promptly and efficiently.

“We will continue to process these cash refunds as fast as we can, and would encourage any customers who haven’t yet requested a cash refund, to do so with our Customer Service team and we will process their request as quickly as possible.”