Ryanair to can­cel 50 flights daily to im­prove punc­tu­al­ity

The Sunday Telegraph - - News - By Sun­day Tele­graph Re­porter

BUD­GET air­line Ryanair has an­nounced it will can­cel up to 50 flights daily for the next six weeks in a bid to im­prove punc­tu­al­ity.

The com­pany said air traf­fic con­trol (ATC) de­lays and strikes, bad weather and a back­log of an­nual leave to be taken by pi­lots and cabin crew had led to punc­tu­al­ity fall­ing to be­low 80 per cent over the last two weeks.

A spokesman said this fig­ure was “un­ac­cept­able” and re­duc­ing two per cent of sched­uled flights un­til the end of Oc­to­ber would help im­prove per­for­mance and al­low staff to take hol­i­day.

The air­line apol­o­gised to af­fected cus­tomers, who it said will be of­fered al­ter­na­tive flights or re­funds.

But pas­sen­gers took to so­cial me­dia to com­plain. Some cus­tomers said last­minute can­cel­la­tions had left them outof-pocket due to non-re­fund­able ac­com­mo­da­tion costs, or with no choice but to book ex­pen­sive al­ter­na­tive flights or trans­port.

Oth­ers said they had been left stranded. Many urged Ryanair to pub­lish a list of all flight can­cel­la­tions.

Writ­ing on the air­line’s Face­book page, Maria Joanna Suqui­tana said guests trav­el­ling to Italy for her brother’s wed­ding had their flights can­celled just hours be­fore de­par­ture.

She wrote: “We rented a van from Ger­many and drive 16 hours be­cause we just can’t trust to fly with you again.”

Ryanair said a change in the com­pany’s hol­i­day year, from April to March to a cal­en­dar year, had seen an in­crease in hol­i­day al­lo­ca­tions as staff used their an­nual leave be­fore the end of the year.

It said the 40 to 50 flight can­cel­la­tions each day ac­counted for less than two per cent of its 2,500 daily flights and it would cre­ate ad­di­tional standby air­craft to help re­store punc­tu­al­ity.

Robin Kiely, head of com­mu­ni­ca­tions at Ryanair, said: “We apol­o­gise sin­cerely to the small num­ber of cus­tomers af­fected by these can­cel­la­tions and will be do­ing our ut­most to ar­range al­ter­na­tive flights and/or full re­funds.”

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