In Brief

Ryanair cancellations spark passenger anger

Budget airline axes thousands of flights because of poor staff holiday planning

Holidaymakers were left angry and disappointed over the weekend as Ryanair began cancelling thousands of flights in order to allow staff to take annual leave.

The Dublin-based budget airline admitted yesterday that it had “messed up” the planning of pilots’ holiday, resulting in up to 50 flights a day being cancelled over the next six weeks.

“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,” the company said after the announcement was made on Friday.

More than 160 flights were grounded on Saturday and Sunday, with the majority of UK cancellations affecting flights to and from Stansted Airport.

At least a quarter of million passengers, and possibly as many as 378,000, may be unexpectedly grounded as a result, the Irish Times reports.

“Some cancellations are expected to be announced just hours beforehand giving passengers little warning,” the newspaper adds.

Angry customer complained about the lack of clarity surrounding the last-minute cancellations and demanded that Ryanair publish a full list of the flights affected.

The acknowledgement of the airline’s responsibility indicates that Ryanair will pay passengers whose flights are cancelled the statutory compensation required under EU law, says The Independent. “If every passenger claims, the total bill would top £100m.”

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