Published on Monday, September 18, 2017

Ryanair under fire for sudden flight cancellations

Ryanair has upset thousands of customers after announcing it will be cancelling up to 50 flights every day for the next six weeks because it has 'messed up in the planning of pilot holidays'.

It said the cancellations would help alleviate the impact of its decision to switch annual leave allocation for crew and pilots from April to March to to a calendar year from January 1 2018.

This has created a backlog of crew leave which must be allocated before December 31.

Robin Kiely, head of communications, said: "We have operated a record schedule and traffic numbers during the peak summer months of July and August but must now allocate annual leave to pilots and cabin crew in September and October, while still running the bulk of our summer schedule.

"This increased leave, at a time of ATC capacity delays and strikes, has severely reduced our on-time performance over the past two weeks to under 80%."

He apologised to the 'small number' of customers affected by the cancellations, and said the airline would be doing its utmost to arrange alternative flights and/or full refunds for them.

But the announcement was met with anger and frustration from consumer rights groups and passengers, particularly those who were due to fly this weekend.

Rory Boland, travel editor of consumer magazine Which?, said: "Ryanair cancelling many flights at short notice will cause huge inconvenience and great distress for its passengers. It must arrange alternative flights or provide a full refund for everyone affected."

The airline has issued a link updating all cancellations up to and including Wednesday this week,
Shares in Ryanair fell 3% on news of the mass cancellations.

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  • Thank goodness for Easyjet

    This would never happen with EasyJet . An agent friendly airline with excellent service . I have never recommended Ryanair to any of my clients and if they had no other choice I have asked them to book directly and to accept any complications with the flight content at their own risk. Cheapest options are never the best . EasyJet have never let me or my customers down.

    By Michael Edwards, Monday, September 18, 2017

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