William Malcolm

Constitutional Court Rules For Kiwi.com In Ryanair Dispute

The Constitutional Court (ÚS) ruled for Kiwi.com ticket seller and annulled the preliminary measure issued at the initiative of Ryanair. The Irish low-cost airline wanted the seller to change some of its practices. In particular, it was a way of informing about the conditions of handling Ryanair flights and also that Kiwi allegedly does not pass on contacts to clients to the carrier. According to the Constitutional Court, the preliminary measure affected freedom of expression, the right to business, and the right to judicial protection.

According to the Constitutional Court, the right to freedom of expression to a certain extent also applies to commercial communications. Therefore, when issuing an interim measure, it is necessary to adequately assess the veracity or falsity of the information. “The decisions of the general courts are based on a misinterpretation of the assessed communications, they were not evaluated in their context,” said the judge, Kateřina Šimáčková, at the announcement of the judgment.

Kiwi allows you to search, book, and purchase tickets from various carriers, including Ryanair, on the web and through the application. The Regional Court in Brno ruled on the preliminary measure in January this year. He instructed Kiwi to adjust the information provided on Ryanair’s terms and conditions and to supplement the e-mail and residence of people and their payment cards when transmitting client information. With another statement, the court imposed the obligation to correct “factually incorrect information” retroactively.

According to the regional court, it was necessary to temporarily adjust the relations between the two companies. Ryanair is said to be unable to contact passengers and meet its financial obligations due to the limited transmission of data from Kiwi in an operational solution. Kiwi appealed, the High Court in Olomouc upheld the decision. Today, the constitutional judges annulled the decision of the regional and high courts. “The courts did not sufficiently explain why it is necessary for one competitor to pass on the clientele information to another,” said Šimáčková.

Ryanair’s lawyer did not comment on the ruling today because he was not released from secrecy. The Kiwi representative welcomed the decision, calling Ryanair’s demands excessive, and said to be one of the forms of competition. “We would like to fight only in relation to our customers, however, Ryanair resorts to these events, which from our point of view are of a representative nature, primarily a competitive position,” Kiwi lawyer David Liškutin told reporters.

Relations between Kiwi and the Irish airline have also recently been discussed in connection with Ryanair’s statement that it will not accept boarding passes sold through Kiwi.com. According to Liškutin, the company does not yet have information that any of its clients would not get on board Ryanair.

The media has also recently reported on other airlines’ further reservations about the Kiwi business model. According to Liškutin, Kiwi.com is innovative, offering consumers more options. “Traditional airlines do not always accept this with understanding,” Liskutin said.