The State Procon of Rio de Janeiro (Procon-RJ) fined Itapemirim Transportes Aéreos (ITA) R$ 468,186.66 for abusive practice, failure to provide service and the duty to provide information, as well as for not responding to the questions of the municipality . The information was released today (29). The company has 30 days to make the payment. If this does not occur, it will be registered in the State’s Active Debt. Itapemirim can still appeal the fine.
In December last year, the airline suspended operations in Brazil. After investigation, Procon-RJ found that the company did not comply with consumer protection laws or the rules established by the National Civil Aviation Agency (Anac).
According to Anac Resolution 400/16, the airline must offer the passenger re-accommodation, full reimbursement or execution of the service by another mode of transport, this choice being the responsibility of the consumer. Despite this, ITA has not proven to have offered these alternatives to travelers, nor has it fulfilled the consumer’s basic right to obtain adequate and clear information about the contracted service, reported Procon-RJ.
According to the autarchy, Itapemirim violated the Consumer Defense Code by not responding to complaints registered at Procon-RJ and on the consumer.gov.br platform, as well as consumer reports of great difficulty in establishing contact with the company and receiving response on the measures to be adopted.
The president of Procon-RJ, Cássio Coelho, said that “canceling flights abruptly, and even during the holiday season, generated frustration and brought inconvenience to hundreds of consumers in Rio de Janeiro. Not providing information, nor offering the passenger the option of choosing between re-accommodation, reimbursement or execution of the service by another modality is unacceptable”`.
When notified by Procon-RJ to provide clarification on the suspension of operations, the airline did not respond to all questions, violating the law by failing to comply with the duty to provide information to the entity of the National Consumer Protection System, highlighted the municipality.
The airline began operating in June 2021 and faced internal and financial problems that led to the suspension of 514 flights between December 17 and 31. At least 40,000 customers were harmed.
Also in December, the National Civil Aviation Agency (Anac) suspended Itapemirim’s authorization for air activities.