Ryanair Extends Flight Cancellations to Early 2018
The Irish no-frills airline plans to fly 25 fewer aircraft during its winter schedule.
Ryanair plans to fly 25 fewer aircraft during its winter schedule. (Photo courtesy: AFP Relaxnews/ OLIVIER MORIN)
Ryanair on Wednesday said it plans to cancel more flights, affecting around 400,000 customers until March, as it struggles with a shortage of pilots.
The Irish no-frills airline plans to fly 25 fewer aircraft during its winter schedule, hitting less than one percent of its customers, it said in a statement, deepening a cancellations crisis that has plagued Ryanair since mid-September.
In addition, it will operate ten fewer aircraft from April 2018.
The group said the move would "eliminate all risk of further flight cancellations, because slower growth creates lots of spare aircraft and crews across Ryanair's 86 bases this winter".
The latest announcement will affect 34 routes, including London-Belfast and Hamburg-Oslo, and slow the Dublin-based airline's growth plans.
"While over 99 percent of our 129 million customers will not have been affected by any cancellations or disruptions, we deeply regret any doubt we caused existing customers ... about Ryanair's reliability, or the risk of further cancellations," said chief executive Michael O'Leary.
Ryanair had already canned 2,100 flights in the six weeks to the end of October as it struggled with landing planes on time, reportedly mainly owing to a shortage of pilots.
Weather issues and strikes have hampered also the airline's performance.
The cancellations jeopardised the travel plans of 315,000 customers, but has now been forced to more than double the number of passengers affected.
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