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Tuesday 26 September 2017

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

Stock photo
Stock photo

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.

Irish Independent

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