Ryanair publishes list of flight cancellations over the next six weeks

The airline says the controversy over pilot leave could lost it €20 million

Ryanair publishes list of flight cancellations over the next six weeks

Photo. Mark Stedman/RollingNews.ie

Updated 11.45am

Ryanair is to publish a list of flight cancellations over the next six weeks.

The airline says it 'messed up' the annual leave of pilots, meaning it has less crew than it would like going into the Autumn.

Up to 50 flights will be cancelled daily - however the airline says over 98% of its customers will be unaffected

The full list of these flight cancellations - from Thurs 21st to Tues Oct 31st - will appear on the Ryanair.com website later today, and customers affected by these cancellations will be emailed with offers of alternative flights or full refunds, and details of their compensation entitlement.

CEO Michael O’Leary has been taking questions at a press conference in Dublin:

The company's share prices dropped 3% on the markets this morning in the wake of the cancellations.

Donal O'Donovan, Business Editor with the Irish Independent, suggests that the company is struggling to retain pilots.

Up to 140 Ryanair staff are believed to have been recently hired by rival airline Norwegian Air.

Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast this morning, Donal explained: "In terms of this overall scheduling issue with Ryanair, they're shifting to a new roster - so the year for them starts in January instead of April. So the holiday backlogs have come now.

"I think this only goes to suggest that they are at full stretch in the numbers of pilots they have. They have 3,000 of pilots [...] That's a huge number of pilots, but they need a huge number of pilots."

He added: "They have complex rosters - they need to be attracting people and holding on to people."

Refunds & compensation

Meanwhile, Paul Bolger from consumer website myrefund.ie says anyone who has their flight cancelled is entitled to go on a later flight or a full refund.

He noted: "If your flight is cancelled, with less than two weeks notice, you're entitled to between €250-400 compensation."

The Commission for Aviation Regulation is also highlighting the entitlements of passengers who have their flights cancelled.

The commission stresses: "It is very important to note that compensation is distinct from and separate to the notion of reimbursement of expenses and/or the refund of the cost of an unused flight ticket.

"If you choose to make a claim for expenses or compensation from Ryanair, you must contact the airline directly." 

The airline claimed that a number of factors had reduced its 'on-time performance' to 80% in recent weeks, adding that the figure is "unacceptable to Ryanair and its customers".

Fine Gael MEP Brian Hayes is calling for the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) here to investigate the matter.

He suggests: "There are clear problems with Ryanair’s actions under EU consumer protection law. Given the scale of the problem and the number of consumers affected, this issue should be addressed immediately and given priority by the CCPC."