Published: Sat, September 16, 2017
Finance | By Loren Pratt

Ryanair says flights cancelled due to 'messed up holiday planning'

Ryanair says flights cancelled due to 'messed up holiday planning'

The airline is cancelling up to 50 flights every day for the next six weeks.

Update - 11.49am: The Irish Travel Agents Association (ITAA) has condemned the cancellation of flights by Ryanair at short notice.

The move is created to improve "system-wide punctuality" which the airline admitted had fallen below 80 per cent in the first two weeks of September, through a combination of air traffic control capacity delays and strikes, weather disruptions and "increased holiday allocations to pilots and cabin crew".

The budget airline "apologised sincerely to the small number of customers affected" and said in a statement that the cancellations were part of a move to "realign staff holidays" and "improve punctuality", which "had dropped below its annual target of 90% in the first two weeks of the month".

Ryanair said the latter issue has been caused as it moves its holiday year (currently April to March) to a calendar year (January to December) from 1 January 2018 onwards, meaning a backlog of crew leave must be allocated before 31 December.

Airline management says that due to these holiday period changes, Ryanair has been operating at record schedule and traffic levels during the peak summer months of July (12.6m passengers) and August (12.7m) which has now resulted in a huge backlog of crew leave.

"This increased leave at a time of ATC capacity delays and strikes (in France), has severely reduced our on-time performance over the past two weeks to under 80 percent".

The airline said that less than 2% of flights would be cancelled.

Between 40 and 50 flights, less than 2 per cent of the 2,500 it operates daily, will be cancelled until the end of October.

Ryanair offered those affected the option for a refund or to book an alternative flight in emails sent on Friday.

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