Ryanair Wins Court Bid to Block Use of Flight Info Data

Ryanair Holdings Plc won a ruling at the European Union’s top court allowing it to block price comparison Websites from scouring its online database.

The EU Court of Justice said the airline’s price information is covered by contractual clauses on its own Website that forbid others from “screenscraping” for details of the fares for Ryanair flights. This is because the database doesn’t have intellectual-property protection, the court said.

Ryanair sued after Dutch company PR Aviation extracted information from Ryanair’s database even after signing terms and conditions that prohibited exactly what it was doing. The Dutch Supreme Court, which was handling the dispute, sought the EU court’s guidance on what types of databases benefit from such a protection.

“Ryanair will continue to pursue screenscraper websites such as PR Aviation to prevent Europe’s consumers from being misled over price and booking conditions,” company spokesman Robin Kiely said in an e-mailed statement.

PR Aviation, based in the Dutch town of Soest, didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment.

Dublin-based Ryanair aims to carry 90 million people in its current fiscal year ending March 31, 120 million annually by 2019 and 150 million within 10 years, having agreed in September to buy as many as 200 high-density Boeing 737s that could take the fleet to about 500 narrow-bodies.

In a separate ruling by the EU court today, low-cost rival Air Berlin Plc was told its computerized booking system must from the start show the final price customers need to pay for each available connection.

The case is: C-30/14, Ryanair Ltd, Other party: PR Aviation BV.

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