Ryanair is set to cancel thousands more flights over the winter season, bosses have announced.
The budget airline said it would be removing 25 of its planes from its 400 aircraft fleet between November and March 2018 in an attempt to “eliminate all risk of further flight cancellations”.
Over the six month period, 34 routes will be temporarily suspended, including London Stansted to Edinburgh and Glasgow, Newcastle to Faro and Gatwick to Belfast.
“Less than 400,000 customers” will be affected, a spokesperson said, with travellers receiving between five weeks and five months notice.
The changes to flight plans have been made in an attempt to prevent further roster-based cancellations.
Just two weeks ago, the company was forced to ground up to 50 flights a day over a period of six weeks because it “messed up” pilots’ holidays, with the cancellations affecting up to 9,000 travellers a day.
However, according to Ryanair its latest move will impact “less than 18,000 of our 800,000 annual flights” - the equivalent of less than one flight per day.
The airline insists that many of these flights, especially in January, February and March, have no bookings whatsoever.
Ryanair’s chief executive Michael O’Leary said on Wednesday: “We sincerely apologise to those customers who have been affected by last week’s flight cancellations, or these sensible schedule changes announced today.
“From today, 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 9 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.”
According to O’Leary, all passengers who have been affected have been offered refunds or re-accomodation, as well as a travel voucher worth up to €80.