Ryanair has released a full list of flights it is cancelling over the next six weeks after it admitted ‘messing up’ its annual leave system for pilots.
Four flights involving East Midlands Airport are affected on Thursday (September 21) – to and from Limoges, France, and Palma, Spain.
They are part of a list of dozens of journeys scrapped across the continent up to October 31 because of what the airline admitted was a “mess of its own making” in the allocation of annual leave to pilots.
Ryanair has apologised and says the cancellations are necessary to avoid a shortfall in pilot cover caused by the mistakes, which could hit the punctuality of other flights.
Cancelled Ryanair flights affecting East Midlands Airport
Thursday, September 21
FR6031 East Midlands – Palma
FR6032 Palma – East Midlands
FR1632 East Midlands Limoges
FR1633 Limoges – East Midlands
The company says most affected passengers will be offered alternative flights on the same or next day.
Passengers who cannot take the alternatives will get refunds and compensation.
The cancellations, around 40-50 a day, will affect less than five per cent of its daily passengers, the company says. Ryanair operates about 2,000 flights a day.
Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary said: “While over 98 per cent of our customers will not be affected by these cancellations over the next 6 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 September and October because we are trying to allocate a full year’s leave into a 9 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 January 1 to December 31 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 per cent of flights that will be unaffected by these cancellations.”