Ryanair under pressure to publish full list of cancelled flights

Ryanair is under pressure to publish a full list of the flights it plans to cancel every day amid growing anger among customers.

The airline said on Saturday it would cancel 40-50 flights every day for the next six weeks, after it “messed up” the planning of pilot holidays.

However, it has so far only published a list of affected flights up until this Wednesday.

Consumer rights group Which? said passengers needed more notice.

“It’s 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.”

The cancellations could affect up to 400,000 passengers, who will be offered alternative flights or refunds.

Reports on Monday suggested recruitment problems were affecting the airline and that it had lost pilots to rival Norwegian Air.

A Norwegian spokesperson said: “We can confirm that 140 pilots have joined us from Ryanair this year. Pilot recruitment is also underway for more pilots for our new Dublin base opening later this year.”

Ryanair has not issued a response to the claims.

Customer anger

The airline has blamed a backlog of staff leave for the disruption, which has led to large numbers of its staff taking holidays towards the end of the year.

Ryanair is changing its holiday year, which currently runs from April to March, to run from January to December instead.

The carrier said the shift meant it had to allocate annual leave to pilots in September and October.

Ryanair also said air traffic control strikes and bad weather were factors, adding that flight cancellations would improve flight punctuality.

Customers have reacted angrily to the cancellations on social media and called for a full list of affected flights to be released.

Karen Higgins tweeted: “Yet another day of constant checking to see if our flights are safe or cancelled! Cmon @Ryanair help us all out! Get the updates done!!!!”

Dee Moloney tweeted: “Have 2 trips booked in the next couple of weeks. Excitement of trips now replaced with worry!… Won’t be flying with @Ryanair again.”

Richard Westcott, BBC transport correspondent

What’s really making people angry is the lack of information.

Ryanair has only published a list of cancelled flights until Wednesday, so people with tickets booked in the six weeks or so after that don’t yet know if they’ll be changed at the last minute.

The company’s under pressure to let everyone know where they stand, so they can make other arrangements.

140 Ryanair pilots have joined another airline, Norwegian, in the past year. That’s 140 out of around 400 taken on by the ever expanding new airline.

So it’s possible that a pilot shortage is contributing to Ryanair’s woes.

Regular updates

Ryanair marketing officer Kenny Jacobs said affected customers with bookings up to 20 September had been informed.

“We will cancel 40 to 50 flights daily for the next six weeks, less than 2% of our schedule, with a slightly higher number initially, as we begin to implement these cancellations,” he said.

“Flights are operating as scheduled unless an email confirming a cancellation has been received.”

He said the airline would continue to send regular updates and post information on its website, with the next set of cancellations to be issued on Monday.

Shares in Ryanair fell by up to 3% on Monday.

What rights do passengers have?

The EU compensation rules for cancelled flights are as follows:

  • Passengers are entitled to assistance and compensation, if the disruption was within an airline’s control.
  • Airlines have to offer full refunds, paid within seven days, or rebookings for a flight cancelled at short notice.
  • In addition, passengers can also claim compensation.
  • Cancellation amounts are: 250 euros (£218) for short-haul, 440 euros (£384) for medium-haul and 600 euros (£523) for long-haul.
  • Passengers who reach their destination more than three hours late can be compensated from 200 to 600 euros, depending on the length of flights and delay.
Posted in BBC