Wednesday 21 February 2018

Ryanair announces massive seat sale in wake of flight cancellations and rostering controversy

A Ryanair flight is seen at Stansted Airport, London. Photo: REUTERS
A Ryanair flight is seen at Stansted Airport, London. Photo: REUTERS

Rebecca Lumley

Ryanair has announced a massive seat sale following a week of controversy.

The airline took to Twitter yesterday evening to announce a sale on one million seats, with prices starting at €9.79.

Passengers from Dublin can purchase one-way tickets to cities such as Paris, Cologne, Hamburg, Eindhoven and Ibiza for less than €10. Passengers from Cork can avail of flights to London or Liverpool for the same price, while those travelling from Shannon can choose from flights to London, Warsaw and Manchester.

The offer will run until midnight on September 25 and applies to dates between October 2017 and February 2018.

This comes after the company was forced to cancel 2,000 flights in September and October due to pilot shortages.

At the airline’s AGM on Thursday, the flights fiasco was described as a “complete cock up”, with Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary conceding that he had “made a boo boo.”

Shareholders at the meeting raised concerns about the “reputational damage” the cancellations would have on the company.

Rostering issues plagued the company throughout the week, prompting staff to demand improved working conditions.

Mr O’Leary called on pilots to yield holiday days in order to carry the airline through the coming period of staff shortages.

The Irish Independent reported yesterday that 55 of Ryanair’s pilot bases have rejected the call, instead demanding better conditions.

Ryanair has about 4,200 pilots, about 1,000 of them between Dublin and London Stansted. The company has 86 bases in total.

Despite reports of growing discontent, Mr O’Leary claimed that the airline had already received offers from pilots willing to yield 2,500 holiday days in order to alleviate the crisis, which has impacted more than 300,000 passengers.

The company has offered its captains €12,000 to work the extra days, with first officers offered €6,000.

Meanwhile, it emerged yesterday that Ryanair staff in the UK were given the option of moving to alternative bases or taking unpaid leave for the coming season.

Cabin crew in East Midlands were told that the number of Ryanair aircrafts would be reduced in the area this winter, leaving staff to find a “temporary secondment” at an alternative base, such as Cologne, Berlin or Eindhoven.

Staff who do not wish to avail of this option have been warned that they will not be entitled to statutory pay for the upcoming period, which is expected to last two months.

Online Editors

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