Ryanair claims to be making “rapid progress” in processing customer refunds for cancelled flights, with the majority due to be cleared by the end of July.

The no-frills carrier revealed that additional refunds staff have been trained to eliminate the backlog of customer refund requests since its Dublin head office reopened on June 1.

All March cash refund requests have now been cleared, according to the airline.

Half of April cash refunds had been cleared by the end of June, with the balance to be processed by July 15.

All of May and “most of June” cash refunds will also be processed by the end of July.

The figures include passengers who have accepted travel vouchers or agreed to transfer onto flights in July, August and September.

But Ryanair called on ‘screenscraping’ online travel agents to provide accurate details of their “unauthorised” bookings, so it can also process these refunds.

The carrier warned that a “significant minority” of refunds are being blocked due to OTAs “using fake email addresses and virtual credit cards when making bookings, which cannot be traced back to the individual consumer”.

Ryanair called on affected customers who have not yet received their refund to contact OTAs’ to ensure that the firms “have acted on Ryanair’s notification emails and are cooperating with Ryanair so these refund requests can also be processed”.

Ryanair chief executive Eddie Wilson said: “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.

“Over 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.

“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 and in the UK 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.”