Ryanair cancels hundreds of flights after 'messing up pilot holidays'

Jon Howard
September 19, 2017

It comes amid the news that Ryanair has announced a slew of flight cancellations over the coming six weeks after messing up the planning of pilot holidays.

Customers affected by the cancellations will be emailed with offers of alternative flights on the same or next day, or full refunds if they choose not to take an alternative flight, plus details of their EU261 compensation entitlement, the airline said.

"Yes but I would rather damage the reputation of Ryanair by cancelling 2 percent of our flights than significantly delaying 40 percent of our flights", O'Leary said.

For passengers affected, they can either fly on another flight or get a refund, as well as claim for compensation.

Norwegian Air (NWC.OL) said it had hired more than 140 Ryanair pilots this year, although O'Leary said it had lost less than 100 of its 4,200 pilots and had recruited some from its rival, meaning it could fully crew its peak schedule.

Ryanair Holdings Plc risks reviving its reputation for slack customer service with a move to scrap hundreds of flights through the end of October because of poor planning amid aggressive expansion.

Ryanair also said the drastic decision to cancel flights was motivated by its need to improve punctuality, which has fallen from 90% to below 80% in the first two weeks of September.

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While the scrapped flights account for only about 2% of normal daily operations, the cause was avoidable and stems from the company's aggressive management style. Even if it is only the outbound portion of the flight that is cancelled, you can still get a refund for the return leg, assuming you do not want to use it.

Among those cancelled with be one in four flights out of Stansted and one in 13 flights out of Dublin.

Why are Ryanair cancelling flights?

"We try to explain why we've made the mess and we will pay compensation to those passengers who are entitled to compensation, which will be those flights that are cancelled over the next two weeks".

The reason given for this was so that their work calendar could successfully switch from April-March to January-December, as well as a backlog of crew leave which must be handed out before the end of the year.

"What we have messed up is the allocation of holidays, and trying to over-allocate holidays during September and October whilst we are still running most of the summer schedule, also taking into account delays due to ATC and weather disruptions". Flights are operating as usual for customers who haven't received emails from the carrier.

"We advise customers to check the email address used to make their booking".

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