Outrage as Ryanair axes 2,000 f lights to ‘boost punctuality’
RYANAIR was yesterday accused of unleashing chaos after cancelling up to 2,100 flights – while telling passengers the move will help it to improve punctuality.
The decision has thrown the travel plans for as many as 285,000 people into disarray and caused a backlash among those affected.
The airline defended the move, blaming air traffic control delays, bad weather and a backlog of annual leave for pilots and cabin crew, which it said had combined to cause a sudden drop in the efficiency of its service.
It said flight punctuality had fallen below 80 per cent over the past two weeks. A spokesman said this figure was ‘unacceptable’ and cutting 40 to 50 flights a day until the end of October would help improve performance and allow staff to take holidays.
He apologised to the ‘small number’ of people affected.
But customers reacted with fury on social media. Denis Mahon, from Dublin, branded the decision ‘ridiculous’ and said his holiday plans had gone ‘up in smoke’. He said on Twitter that the company had given him two days’ notice and had offered him a replacement flight three days after his original booking.
Natalie Kirby, from Brentwood in Essex, who was due to fly on Tuesday, said: ‘I’m very angry about my flight being cancelled. We have rebooked but have had to pay out more.’
Thousands of other custom- ers who have flights beyond Wednesday have been left in the dark with the company facing demands to provide details of all flights affected to allow customers to make alternative arrangements in advance.
One irate customer said on Twitter: ‘Just received an email from Ryanair telling me to check in for a flight that they cancelled yesterday! Do they know what they’re doing?’
Lea Maquin, from Cambridge, said: ‘Thank you Ryanair for ruining our holiday by cancelling our return flight.’
Under EU rules, customers should receive up to €400 compensation for flights cancelled within two weeks of departure.
The company said last night: ‘We apologise sincerely to the small number of customers affected, and will be doing our utmost to arrange alternative flights and/or full refunds.’