Italian antitrust authority to investigate Ryanair over mass cancellations

Marcus Newton
September 22, 2017

Ryanair has also rejected suggestions that staff are tempted to begin industrial action, saying with captains looking to switch bases and first officers looking for promotions, there's no risk of blue flu.

Pilots were offered the bonus in exchange for working an additional 10 days to plug a shortage that last week forced Ryanair to cancel more than 2,000 flights in September and October.

Balpa general secretary Brian Strutton said: "It seems Ryanair has been just about scraping through the summer schedule and having no flexibility in the system, coupled with a miscalculation of pilot annual leave, has led to this disastrous situation".

Mr O'Leary was speaking following a meeting with shareholders at the airline's AGM in Dublin on Thursday amid the flight cancellation controversy.

It's hard to say where this might end up, but Ryanair really needs these people on side right now, to help it through a messy few weeks of cancelled flights.

A Ryanair spokesman said: "Full EU261 notifications have been sent to all customers and we'll continue to comply fully with all EU261 legislation".

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Other airlines say Ryanair's woes are also due to pilots leaving for better pay and conditions.

Employee councils liaise with Ryanair on behalf of pilots and staff, as the company refuses recognise unions.

Until now, Ryanair has used a 12-month period beginning April 1, which gave it a competitive advantage in scheduling pilots during the busy summer season because hours accumulated from January to March didn't carry over into the new scheduling year, the IALPA said in a statement.

The airline said the cancellations were because of a change in the way pilot's annual leave is calculated meant that too many were granted four-week breaks.

"There's an underlying problem at Ryanair, which is quite simply that the company can not replace pilots as fast as they quit", he wrote.

The airline said it expects to have re-accommodated (or authorised refund requests to) over 95pc of the 315,000 customers affected by these cancellations by the end of the week.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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