2,100 f lights can­celled by Ryanair

Irish Daily Mail - - Front Page - By Paul Neilan

RYANAIR has can­celled up to 2,100 flights over the next six weeks – in­clud­ing some in and out of Dublin for to­day.

In a state­ment, the air­line apol­o­gised for the de­ci­sion, which will see the can­cel­la­tion of ‘40-50 flights daily... to the end of Oc­to­ber’. It said it was to ac­com­mo­date an­nual leave for pi­lots and cabin crew. It claimed the de­ci­sion would im­prove punc­tu­al­ity.

RYANAIR has caused chaos for trav­ellers by can­celling up to 2,100 flights so that staff can take hol­i­days.

In a state­ment, the air­line said that ‘40-50 flights daily for the next six weeks to the end of Oc­to­ber’ had been can­celled to ‘al­lo­cate an­nual leave’ for pi­lots and cabin crew and to im­prove punc­tu­al­ity.

Be­tween 1,680 and 2,100 flights across Europe have been can­celled with the com­pany say­ing af­fected cus­tomers had been con­tacted.

The move seeks to ‘im­prove sys­tem-wide punc­tu­al­ity, which has fallen be­low 80% in the first two weeks of Septem­ber through a com­bi­na­tion of Air Traf­fic Con­trol ca­pac­ity de­lays and strikes, weather dis­rup­tions and the im­pact of in­creased hol­i­day al­lo­ca­tions to pi­lots and cabin crew.

There have also been dis­rup­tions be­cause staff have to take their full hol­i­day al­lowance be­fore the end of the year, rather than by April 2018, un­der new re­quire­ments from the Ir­ish Avi­a­tion Author­ity.

This re­sulted in a back­log of staff seek­ing to take hol­i­days.

‘Ryanair has op­er­ated at a record sched­ule and traf­fic lev­els dur­ing the peak sum­mer months of July with 12.6mil­lion guests and in Au­gust with 12.7mil­lion guests but has a back­log of crew leave, which must be al­lo­cated be­fore De­cem­ber 31, 2017, in or­der to switch to a cal­en­dar leave year.

‘These tighter crew­ing num­bers and the im­pact of ATC ca­pac­ity re­stric­tions in the UK, Ger­many and Spain, as well as French ATC strikes and ad­verse weather have given rise to sig­nif­i­cant de­lays in re­cent weeks.

‘Ryanair’s on-time per­for­mance has de­clined from 90% to un­der 80% over the past two weeks... that is un­ac­cept­able to Ryanair and its cus­tomers.

‘By re­duc­ing its sched­uled fly­ing pro­gramme over the next six weeks by less than 2% of its over 2,500 daily flights, the air­line will cre­ate ad­di­tional standby air­craft which will help re­store on-time per- for­mance to its 90% av­er­age.’

Ryanair’s Robin Kiely said: ‘Ryanair apol­o­gises sin­cerely for the in­con­ve­nience caused to cus­tomers by these can­cel­la­tions. Cus­tomers will be con­tacted di­rectly about this small num­ber of can­cel­la­tions and of­fered al­ter­na­tive flights or full re­funds.’

Fianna Fáil’s spokesper­son on trans­port, Robert Troy, said the de­ci­sion has caused deep con­cern to the pas­sen­gers af­fected.

‘I’m re­ally very dis­ap­pointed in the man­ner in which this de­ci­sion has been car­ried out and com­mu­ni­cated. Pas­sen­gers in­tend­ing to travel over the week­end weren’t given any warn­ing to make al­ter­na­tive ar­range­ments. ,’ he said.

Af­fected cus­tomers took to Twit­ter to vent their anger.

Re­quests by the Ir­ish Daily Mail for a list of af­fected flights was not suc­cess­ful with the com­pany only say­ing ‘All af­fected cus­tomers have been in­formed’.

Cuts: Michael O’Leary

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