Ryanair cancel more flights in move hitting 400000 customers

The airline said the move eliminate the risk of further flight cancellations

The airline said the move eliminate the risk of further flight cancellations

The airline said the new cancellations would affect less than 1% of the 50 million people flying Ryanair this winter.

It said the move would allow it to minimize flight delays and would mean an earlier threat to force pilots to reschedule holidays would not be carried out.

Ryanair is now scrapping 40 to 50 flights daily - "less than two percent" of its flying program - to address problems caused also by air traffic control (ATC) delays, strikes and weather disruption.

United Kingdom wide the airline plans to cancel a total of 18,000 flights over the winter season, affecting 400,000 passengers following on from problems earlier this month when they cancelled up to 50 flights a day until the end of October.

In a detailed statement today, the airline announced the grounding of flights to accommodate pilots annual leave in line with the Irish Aviation Authority's regulations.

The airline has sent the offer as a "goodwill gesture" to customers, whose travel plans were disrupted by the mass cancellation of 2,100 flights over a six-week period.

"We sincerely apologise to those customers who have been affected by last week's flight cancellations".

Ryanair has today announced that a further 400,000 passengers will have their flights cancelled between November 2017 and March 2018.

34 routes are affected, including London Stansted to Edinburgh and Glasgow, Gatwick to Belfast, and Newcastle to Faro.

It added that last week's flight cancellations should cost less than €25mln, it issued free flight vouchers to affected customers at a cost of under €25mln, and it expects lower yields in the coming months due to seat sales promotions.

Ryanair also disputed claims of an industry-wide pilot shortage, saying it has seen a surge in applications from former Gulf airline crews, as well as from Germany and Italy in the wake of the Alitalia and Air Berlin Plc insolvencies.

In his announcement of the cancellations, Ryanair's chief executive, Michael O'Leary, apologized for the upset.

Over the last week, it has "re-accommodated or refunded" over 97pc of the 315,000 customers whose flights were cancelled, it says.

The airline said that reducing its fleet and slowing its growth will create spare aircraft and crew in order to manage "exceptional volumes of annual leave", as it shifted to a new scheduling system.

Ryanair says those customers who have booked on the flights will be contacted today and offered "alternative flights or a full refund".

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