Ryanair have today announced the cancellation of another 18,000 flights that will affect a further 40,000 passengers scheduled to use the low cost airline between November and March.
In a Ryanair statement issued on Wednesday afternoon, the airline said that it plans to roster all of the extra pilot leave necessary between October and December so that it can start the new calendar leave year from January 1, 2018 with no backlog. It will do this by flying 25 fewer aircraft.
The cancellations will see 34 routes suspended including Stansted to Edinburgh and Glasgow, Gatwick to Belfast and Newcastle to Faro. The only Spanish route affected will be Sofia – Castellon.
The airline said that the only way to ensure that it could roster the pilots leave would be by cancelling the flights.
The cancellations are on top of to 50 flights a day already rescinded through to the end of October.
The press release, which is well worth reading through, can be seen at http://corporate.ryanair.com/news, said that all passenger would be offered alternative flights or full refunds. It added that everyone has already been advised by email.
Ten days after saying they were hoping to purchase the Italian carrier Alitalia, Ryanair have said they now intend to drop the bid to “eliminate all management distractions”.
The airline also refutes speculation that they don’t have enough pilots saying that they have more than 2,500 pilots on a waiting list and had offered jobs to more than 650 new pilots who would be join by May next year.
“Slower growth this winter will create lots of spare aircraft and crews, which will allow us to manage the exceptional volumes of annual leave we committed to delivering in the nine months to December 2017,” said Chief Executive Michael O’Leary.
Despite the announcement Ryanair’s share price rose 3% in London, bringing the rise this year to 17%.