Ryanair cancels hundreds of flights after 'messing up pilot holidays'

Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary during a press conference in Dublin

Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary during a press conference in Dublin

Up until this afternoon the airline had only announced what flights were cancelled up until this Wednesday (September 20) and they are due to release the full list of affected flights tonight.

The Ryanair CEO stated: "All customers on the affected flights will receive an email highlighting the alternative flights they can transfer to hopefully on the same day".

Ryanair's Robin Kiely says: "By cancelling less than 2% of our flying programme over the next six weeks, (until our winter schedule starts in early November) we can improve the operational resilience of our schedules and restore punctuality".

Ryanair has said as many as 50 flights a day will have to be cancelled over the next six weeks.

Note: The airline are expected to add even more flights to this list.

Ryanair is mandated by the Irish Aviation Authority to bring staff time-off in line with the calendar year from January 1, requiring it to distribute the backlog before the end of 2017.

Norwegian Air (NWC.OL) said it had hired more than 140 Ryanair pilots this year, although O'Leary said it had lost less than 100 of its 4,200 pilots and had recruited some from its rival, meaning it could fully crew its peak schedule.

Laura-Jayne Halton is getting married in Italy next week, and doesn't know if her flight will be cancelled.

However, the Irish carrier's decision to only publish a list of flights affected until this Wednesday(20 September) has come under intense criticism by passengers and consumer groups, who claim they needed a longer notice. In a statement released today, the no-frills airline said the cancellations would happen over the next six weeks. You should get your money back within seven days or given an alternative flight. But if you decide to cancel or change your flight without knowing whether it will be cancelled officially, you have no special rights under the European Regulations.

Move quickly and try to reschedule your flight as soon as you find out yours is cancelled. The airline must also reimburse you for any reasonable costs caused by the cancellation; such as a meal at the airport or an overnight hotel stay.

If I can't get to my destination until later, what about the other things I've booked? You may have cover for this with your travel insurance policy.

Kenny Jacobs the chief marketing officer for Ryanair said: "We have messed up in the planning of pilot holidays and we're working hard to fix that".

"For instance, you are entitled to reimbursement if you are not warned two weeks in advance".

If you are affected, it's vital you claim additional compensation from Ryanair.

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