Ryanair has announced that more than half of the passengers whose travel plans were thrown into chaos because of its cancellation of more than 2,000 flights have now been given new flights.
The Irish-based carrier stated that the number of clients inconvenienced by its decision to cancel 2,100 flights for the following six weeks had also decreased to 315,000 down from its earlier approximation of 390,000 since forward bookings were lower in October at 70pc of the overall capacity of the airline.
It announced that more than 175,000 customers – 55pc of those affected – had now been placed on another flight. The company also said that on Monday, September 18, every single customer had been sent an email on alerting them to the cancellation, offering alternative flights and describing the options for a refund and further compensation under the EU 261 rules. It also added that more than 63,000 refunds have already been given.
The said flight cancellations were caused by a rostering failure by the airline. It is having to move the company’s holiday year from the financial one (April-March) to the calendar one which suggested having to sign off on requests of staff holiday within a compressed nine-month holiday year compared to the typical 12-month one.
What made matters worse was that the company agreed to allow its pilots to retain their four-week block of holiday, which is a standard part of the annual leave in the airline industry. Because of this, Ryanair stated that it would not have sufficient extra staff to provide the needed cover on its full schedule if any or some of the crews got stuck in the wrong area at the end of a day.
Earlier this week, Michael O’Leary, its chief executive, announced that trying to operate all of the airline’s flights would have produced delays for many more passengers and much more disruptions than the decision to cancel almost 2pc of its flights.
The company revealed that it had taken on extra customer service staff to assist in dealing with the backlog of request for flight change and refunds.
Kenny Jacobs, Ryanair’s chief marketing officer, stated that the company again “sincerely apologises” to customers and that it expects to have the majority of the requests for refund and re-route dealt with by the end of the week.