Ryanair has released a full list of flights it has been forced to cancel over the next six weeks after it “messed up” pilots’ holiday.
The budget airline announced on Saturday that it would be grounding up to 50 flights a day until the end of October, affecting up to 9,000 passengers daily.
Travellers have been informed that they will be able to apply for compensation or change their cancelled flight for free.
Apologising to customers, Ryanair’s chief executive Michael O’Leary described the situation as a “mess of our own making”.
“I apologise sincerely to all our customers for any worry or concern this has caused them over the past weekend,” he said yesterday.
“We have only taken this decision to cancel this small proportion of our 2,500 daily flights so that we can provide extra standby cover and protect the punctuality of the 98% of flights that will be unaffected by these cancellations.”
O’Leary continued: “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 Sept and Oct because we are trying to allocate a full year’s leave into a 9 month period from April to December.”
“This issue will not recur in 2018 as Ryanair goes back onto a 12 month calendar leave year from 1st Jan to 31st December 2018.”
However, O’Leary’s comments have done little to reassure furious passengers, many of whom say holidays and trips have been “ruined” by the cancellations.
One woman wrote on Twitter: “Not only have you ruined our holiday by cancelling our plan - you clearly don’t give a shit about it. Never again.”
Yesterday, Ryanair came under fire after it failed to tell passengers flying after Wednesday whether their flights would be grounded or not.
Now, the airline has announced all of the flights it has cancelled between now and the end of October.