Ryanair to delay pilot leave as carrier battles cancellations

Robyn Valdez
September 22, 2017

Pilots were offered the bonus in exchange for working an additional 10 days to plug a shortage that last week forced Ryanair to cancel more than 2,000 flights in September and October.

But one group, made up of employee councils from 14 Ryanair bases across Europe, have sent a letter to the firm refusing the offer.

Mr O'Leary told the AGM that Ryanair was facing a "significant management failure" and the cancellations had cost the airline about 25m euros (£22m).

Another said "Pilots join Ryanair as they take people with minimal experience, once they have that experience they go to proper airlines with proper pay and conditions".

RTÉ News has seen documents which raise the possibility of a work-to-rule by pilots, which would significantly worsen the current disruption to flights at the airline.

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When asked about reports that pilots are threatening industrial action Mr O'Leary responded: "If you want and need to ask your staff to give up holidays no work to rule can alter that".

Former Ryanair pilot James Atkinson, writing in the Guardian, said the airline uses divide and control tactics to keep pilots on different kinds of contracts and to prevent them from organizing.

Ryanair is accused of breaking European Union law because it is failing to tell customers whose flights have been cancelled about their right to compensation.

Until now, they say, they've been scattered and isolated, making them much less powerful.

O'Leary later insisted there were no problems between the company and the pilots and that if they misbehave "that will be the end of the goodies".

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If these pilots refuse to work extra days, more cancellations could be on the way.

Ryanair faces a compensation bill of up to 20 million euro (£17.7 million) over the cancellations brought about by the over-allocation of pilots' holidays during a relatively busy period.

Separately, some Ryanair pilots have spoken to the BBC about a "toxic" atmosphere and how they felt "undervalued".

Ryanair said extra customer service staff had been brought on to help with flight changes and processing refunds and it expected 95% or around 300,000 of customers affected to have alternative travel arrangements in place or refunds.by the end of the week.

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Other reports by Info About Network

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