Ryanair cancellations: 315000 customers notified and over half on new flights

Ryanair are hoping to prevent further flight cancellations by taking back one week of its pilots' holiday, but they can't guarantee more disruption.

Pilots in Stansted, Frankfurt and Berlin will also be offered the same amount - as the company says traditionally they don't want to base themselves in these locations.

There have been suggestions of a strike over conditions at Ryanair, an airline where CEO Michael O'Leary had previously referred to pilots as "glorified taxi-drivers". "We are not short of pilots, we have 4,200 of them", he said.

If pilots make good on the threat, they will refuse to do anything outside their contractual obligations, such as turning up early to avoid delays or answering phone calls on days off.

Ryanair Holdings Plc (RYA.L, RYAAY) pilots have rejected a cash bonus offered to them by the airline in exchange for cancelling their leave as the airline grapples with massive flight cancellations.

"I don't even know how there would be industrial action in Ryanair", O'Leary said.

Irish low-priced airline Ryanair has allocated replacement flights for more than half of the customers whose trips were cancelled late last week, it said Wednesday. Over 700 of the 2,000 affected flights were scheduled to depart from or arrive at an Italian airport, many of them domestic flights.

Ryanair contracts are now written up under Irish employment law and a significant number of pilots are employed on contracts via third-party agencies.

Mr O'Leary said pilots due to take a four-week block of holidays in the next few months because a change in annual leave rotas will be told to reduce that to three weeks.

Ryanair's O'Leary has told shareholders that 75% of passengers with cancelled flights have been rebooked and refunded.

"We haven't been sent anything yet", O'Leary said when asked about the letter.

Ryanair said that by the end of this week, it expects to have re-accommodated, or authorised refund requests, to over 95 percent of the 315,000 customers affected by these cancellations.

  • Anthony Vega