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Ryanair takes US action to track down owner of website it successfully sued





Ryanair has been forced to issue proceedings in the US in an effort to track down the German owner of a website that was successfully sued by the airline last year for suggesting that flying with the carrier was unsafe.

The airline was found last November to have been seriously defamed in a "grossly false and misleading internet article questioning the company's safety and maintenance record", according to the judge who heard the case in Dublin.

Ryanair had sued Global Wings Publications, which trades as Air-Scoop.com, and the website's German owner, Joachim Kleinert.

The judge awarded Ryanair €50,000, which included €40,000 damages for defamation and €10,000 for aggravated damages because the offending article had remained on the website. The article has since been removed from the Air-Scoop website, which remains in operation.

The article first came to Ryanair's attention when certain unfounded allegations had been taken from the Air-scoop.com website and published in a Belgian newspaper.

The defendants in the case had been aware of the legal action being taken against them, but weren't represented in court or engaged with Ryanair on the matter.

The judgment by the court hasn't yet been enforceable against the defendants because Mr Kleinert can't be tracked down. He was previously understood to be living in Stuttgart.


Ryanair has asked a court in the District of Columbia to issue a subpoena to a web hosting firm called Siteground.com which hosted the Air-scoop.com website.

"Siteground.com possesses information regarding Mr Kleinert, Air-Scoop.com and Global Wings, including ISP addresses of the computers used to disseminate the false report," Ryanair has told the US court.

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"The ISP addresses will enable Ryanair to locate Mr Kleinert and Global Wings and apply to the court of competent jurisdiction wherever they are located to enforce the judgment obtained in the Dublin Circuit Court," the airline adds.

Siteground, which is headquartered in Panama, has previously informed Ryanair that it cannot divulge Mr Kleinert's address under US law without a subpoena or warrant.

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