Ryanair announces more flight cancellations

Ryanair has announced a further slew of flight cancellations and amended its growth plans amid continued negative publicity, according to Reuters.

The budget airline said that hundreds of thousands of customers would be told their flights had been cancelled due to a shortage of pilots in the coming months. In September and October over 2,000 flights have been cancelled due to rostering problems.

The latest announcement raises the number of affected passengers to 400,000 from 300,000. Ryanair has taken a nosedive in reputation and share price due to the cancellations.

CEO Michael O’Leary said: “We sincerely apologise to those customers who have been affected by last week’s flight cancellations, or these sensible schedule changes announced today.”

The fast-growing airline had been aiming to reach 142 million passengers by March 2019 but this figure has now been scaled back to 138 million. Average ticket prices will also fall as the airline launches seat sales promotions. Ryanair also said that it was shelving plans to bid for bankrupt Italian airline Alitalia.

Ryanair had previously said that it would tackle the staff shortages by compelling some pilots to postpone leave and by offering cash incentives to work additional days. Some pilots responded by joining trade unions in a bid to force an improvement of their working conditions.