- Ryanair to cancel 50 flights daily
- Standby aircraft will help punctuality
- On time rate fell below 80pc
Ryanair is to cancel up to 50 flights daily for the next six weeks in an attempt, it says, to free up more standby aircraft and improve punctuality.
Ryanair are to allocated additional standby aircraft to restore on-time performance to its 90pc average, by reducing its scheduled flying programme over the next six weeks by 2pc of its 2,500 daily flights,
Ryanair, which is near-obsessive about on time performance, says punctuality has affected by Air Traffic Control capacity delays in England, Germany and Spain, and strikes in France, and weather disruptions such as thunderstorms in Italy.
Ryanair’s on-time performance has declined from 90pc to under 80pc over the past two weeks, a figure that is unacceptable to Ryanair and its customers.
It also blamed the impact of increased holiday allocations to pilots and cabin crew. Ryanair has a backlog of crew leave which must be allocated before 31st Dec 2017 in order to switch to a calendar leave year from 1st Jan 2018 onwards under IAA regulations.
This means Ryanair has to allocate annual leave during a nine month transition period (April to December 2017) to move the airline’s holiday year (currently April to March) to the IAA designated calendar year (Jan to Dec) from January 1st 2018 onwards.
On social media passengers claimed they have had less than a day’s notice. Some claimed they got four hour’s notice of flight cancellations.
One passenger claimed he had flown to Greece on holiday and his flight home on Monday has been cancelled. He was offered Friday as an alternative
Cancelled flights do not count against punctuality. It therefore incentivises airlines to cancel them rather than cause delays.
Ryanair’s Robin Kiely said: customers will be contacted directly about this small number of cancellations and offered alternative flights or full refunds. We have operated a record schedule and traffic numbers during the peak summer months of July and August but must now allocate annual leave to pilots and cabin crew in September and October, while still running the bulk of our summer schedule. This increased leave at a time of ATC capacity delays and strikes, has severely reduced our on-time performance over the past two weeks to under 80pc.
By cancelling 2pc of our flying programme over the next six weeks, (until our winter schedule starts in early November) we can improve the operational resilience of our schedules and restore punctuality to our annualised target of 90pc. We apologise sincerely to the small number of customers affected by these cancellations, and will be doing our utmost to arrange alternative flights and/or full refunds for them.”