Ryanair axes up to 50 flights a day to cut staff hol­i­day back­log

Irish Independent - - NEWS - Gavin White

RYANAIR has come un­der fire for can­celling up to 50 flights a day for the next six weeks as it moves to re­duce a back­log of hol­i­days for staff.

The air­line an­nounced yes­ter­day it would can­cel a num­ber of flights to im­prove its punc­tu­al­ity which has fallen be­low 80pc in the first two weeks of Septem­ber.

The Dublin-based car­rier will of­fer re­funds or al­ter­na­tive flights to the “small num­ber” of af­fected pas­sen­gers over the pe­riod.

Fianna Fáil trans­port spokesper­son Robert Troy said the de­ci­sion to can­cel the flights with­out ad­e­quate no­tice 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 to pas­sen­gers,” he said.

“Pas­sen­gers in­tend­ing to travel to­day or over the week­end weren’t given any warn­ing to al­low them to make al­ter­na­tive ar­range­ments.

“I do feel that Ryanair have failed in their duty of care to their cus­tomers,” he added.

Deputy Troy called on Ryanair to pub­lish all planned flight can­cel­la­tions for the pe­riod this week­end.

He also said cus­tomers should not have “to wait for their money any longer than is ab­so­lutely nec­es­sary”.

Ryanair also said the can­cel­la­tions, which amount to 2pc of its net­work, won’t have an im­pact on earn­ings in Septem­ber and Oc­to­ber.

Ryanair is man­dated un­der the Ir­ish Avi­a­tion Author­ity to bring staff hol­i­days in line with the cal­en­dar year from Jan­uary 1, re­quir­ing it to al­lo­cate the leave be­fore the end of the year.

The move will help bring up punc­tu­al­ity back up to 90pc by pro­vid­ing ad­di­tional standby air­craft, af­ter on-time per­for­mance fell be­low 80pc in the first two weeks of Septem­ber.

That’s been prompted by air traf­fic con­trol is­sues in France, the UK, Ger­many and Spain, as well as thun­der­storms, Ryanair said in a state­ment.

“We have op­er­ated a record sched­ule dur­ing the peak sum­mer months of July and Au­gust but must now al­lo­cate an­nual leave to pi­lots and cabin crew in Septem­ber and Oc­to­ber,” Ryanair’s Robin Kiely said.

“This in­creased leave at a time of ATC ca­pac­ity, de­lays and strikes, has se­verely re­duced our on-time per­for­mance over the past two weeks,” he added.

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