Ryanair is cancelling 18,000 flights between November and March
Ryanair is cancelling 18,000 flights between November and March, with 400,000 passengers set to be affected.
The Irish airline will ground 25 of its 400 planes through this period.
Ryanair claims the move will eliminate the risk of further flight cancellations.
Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary said: “We sincerely apologise to those customers who have been affected by last week’s flight cancellations, or these sensible schedule changes announced.
Ryanair cancelled flights: The airline is cancelling more flights through to March
“While over 99 per cent of our 129 million customers will not have been affected by any cancellations or disruptions, we deeply regret any doubt we caused existing customers last week about Ryanair’s reliability, or the risk of further cancellations.
“From [Wednesday September 27], there will be no more rostering related flight cancellations this winter or in summer 2018.
“Slower growth this winter, will create lots of spare aircraft and crews which will allow us to manage the exceptional volumes of annual leave we committed to delivering in the nine months to Dec 2017. We will start a new 12 month leave period on the 1st of Jan 2018 in full compliance with EU regulations and the IAA’s requirements.
“All of the passengers who have been affected by these disruptions have now been offered re-accommodation or full refunds and their applicable EU261 entitlements. In addition today, they are receiving a travel voucher (€40 one way/€80 return) which they may use to book any Ryanair flight of their choice during October for travel between October and March 2018.”
Ryanair cancelled flights: The airline will cancel 400,000 more flights by removing 25 planes
Last week Ryanair apologised to outraged customers over its decision to cancel up to 50 flights a day over six weeks.
The budget Irish airline published a full list of affected flights through to October, which included 2,024 services.
The airline says the move is to “improve its system-wide punctuality” after a sharp decrease in flights arriving on time in recent weeks.
But Ryanair also concedes the flight cancellations are due to an error in the allocation of leave for pilots.
Ryanair cancelled flights: Customers will be issued refunds
The flight cancellations were first revealed as the airline lost 140 pilots to Norwegian Air, but Ryanair insists the two incidents are not linked.
Mr O’Leary said: “Ryanair is not short of pilots – we were able to fully crew our peak summer schedule in June, July and August – but we have messed up the allocation of annual leave to pilots in September and October because we are trying to allocate a full year’s leave into a nine month period from April to December.”
Ryanair has agreed to pay all required flight compensation to eligible passengers – a bill which could mount to nearly £18 million.
Airlines are obliged to pay compensation for flights cancelled with less than two week’s notice.