Latest: Ryanair publishes list of cancelled flights

Update 7.07pm: Ryanair has this evening published a list of flights that are scheduled to be cancelled in the coming weeks.

Mr O'Leary, the airline's chief executive, told a press conference in Dublin today: "Clearly there's a large reputational impact for which again I apologise. We will try to do better in future.

Update 5.58pm: Ryanair boss Micheal O’Leary said he has no intention of resigning for the flight cancellations 'mess' which has left many passengers stranded.

Asked if he believed he should lose his job, Mr O'Leary replied: "No, I don't think my head should roll, I need to stay here and fix this."

Mr O'Leary said customers whose flights have been cancelled will receive an email by this evening.

This will inform them what flights they can transfer to, which will be "hopefully on the same or at worse the next day".

Under EU law, passengers given less than 14 days’ notice of a flight cancellation are entitled to claim compensation worth up to €250 depending on the timing of alternative flights and if the issue was not beyond the responsibility of the airline, such as extreme weather.

Mr O'Leary said: "If they're not satisfied with the alternative flights offered they can have a full refund and they will all be entitled to their EU261 compensation entitlements.

"We will not be trying to claim exceptional circumstances.

"This is our mess-up. When we make a mess in Ryanair, we come out with our hands up, we try to explain why we made the mess, and we will pay compensation to those passengers who are entitled to compensation, which will be those flights that are cancelled over the next two weeks."

Mr O'Leary insisted the airline is "not short of pilots" as he explained the reason behind the cancellations.

He said: "What we have messed up is the allocation of holidays and trying to over-allocate holiday during September and October, while we're still running most of the summer schedule, and taking flight delays because of principally air traffic control and weather disruptions."

Changes imposed by Irish regulators, in line with European law, forced Ryanair to conform staff holidays with the calendar year from January, requiring it to allocate that leave before the end of the year.

Update 4.37pm: Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary has ruled out paying for flights on rival airlines for customers affected by upcoming cancellations.

"We will not be paying for flights on other airlines, no," he said.

"It's not part of the EU261 entitlements."

He added that he will "fully honour all of the EU261 entitlements that our passengers are entitled to, without quibble or question"

Update 4.29pm: Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary has said that the airline will not be claiming "exceptional circumstances" to avoid paying compensation to customers affected by upcoming flight cancellations.

"This is our mess-up," he said.

Update 4.17pm: Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary has said that a list of cancellations has been finalised for the next "six-ish" weeks to the end of October.

He said that cancellations will occur at nine of the larger Ryanair bases including Dublin, Stansted, Milan and Rome.

He added: "In total, there will be 50 flights cancelled on Mondays, there will be 44 cancelled on Tuesdays, 42 cancelled on Wednesdays, 48 on Thursdays, 52 on Fridays, 48 on Saturdays, 52 on Sundays, which is an average of 48 flight cancellations a day."

In a statement, the Ryanair boss said: "Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary said: “While over 98% of our customers will not be affected by these cancellations over the next six weeks, we apologise unreservedly to those customers whose travel will be disrupted, and assure them that we have done our utmost to try to ensure that we can re-accommodate most of them on alternative flights on the same or next day.

“Ryanair is not short of pilots – we were able to fully crew our peak summer schedule in June, July and August – but we have messed up the allocation of annual leave to pilots in Sept and Oct because we are trying to allocate a full year’s leave into a nine-month period from April to December.

“This issue will not recur in 2018 as Ryanair goes back onto a 12-month calendar leave year from 1st Jan to 31st December 2018.

“This is a mess of our own making. I apologise sincerely to all our customers for any worry or concern this has caused them over the past weekend.

“We have only taken this decision to cancel this small proportion of our 2,500 daily flights so that we can provide extra standby cover and protect the punctuality of the 98% of flights that will be unaffected by these cancellations.”

Update 2.20pm: Ryanair's chief executive has admitted the airline is in "a mess" over its plans to cancel thousands of flights over the next six weeks.

"We sincerely apologise and we are working very hard at the moment to make sure we finalise the list of flight cancellations which will effect less than 2% of our customers and we will look after those customers who have been distrupted," he said.

Here is the list of flights cancelled.

Earlier:Ireland's aviation regulator has said Ryanair must offer alternative flights or a full refund if it cancels a service.

The budget airline is under pressure to publish a full list of the flights it plans to cancel over the next six weeks as customers have become increasingly angry.

It said it was shelving up to 50 flights daily after it "messed up" the planning of pilot holidays.

Ireland's Commission for Aviation Regulation said: "If Ryanair cancels a flight, it must offer you the choice of an alternative flight at the earliest opportunity or at a later date of your choice subject to the availability of seats or a full refund of the ticket."

The commission, which has responsibility for scheduling at Irish airports, is due to meet to discuss the situation.

It has said it expects Ryanair to pay out compensation in some cases.

Over the weekend the airline published a list of affected flights up to Wednesday.

Which? consumers' group said: "It's also essential that Ryanair release a full list of flights that will be affected so that passengers have as much time as possible to make alternate arrangements."

It was reported that recruitment problems were affecting the airline and it had lost a significant number of pilots to low cost rival Norwegian Air, something denied by Ryanair.

Kenny Jacobs, chief marketing officer at Ryanair, said the company was "working hard to fix" the problem, after it announced a 2% reduction in scheduled flights until the end of October as it shifts to conform with European regulations surrounding staff leave.

Changes imposed by Irish regulators, in line with European law, forces Ryanair to conform staff holidays with the calendar year from January, requiring it to allocate that leave before the end of the year.

Ryanair said air traffic control delays and strikes, bad weather and a backlog of annual leave to be taken by pilots and cabin crew had led to punctuality falling to below 80% over the last two weeks.

A spokesman said this figure was "unacceptable" and the company has apologised to affected customers, who it said will be offered alternative flights or refunds.

Some customers said last-minute cancellations had left them out-of-pocket due to non-refundable accommodation costs, or with no choice but to book expensive alternative flights or transport.

Others said they had been left stranded in their holiday destination and many urged Ryanair to publish a list of all flight cancellations.

The vast majority of UK cancellations affected Stansted. Some Dublin flights were also dropped.

AP


KEYWORDS: Ryanair

 

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