Ryanair is cancelling up to 50 flights a day for the next six weeks after the airline made a mistake planning around holidays for its pilots. The Irish-based budget airline company has already cancelled flights through Wednesday, Sept. 20 as a result of the issue. But more flights will be cut in the next few weeks. Less than 2% of the flights run by the airline will be affected, the company said.
"We apologise to all affected customers for these cancellations," the airline wrote in a statement on Facebook. "We have messed up in the planning of pilot holidays and we're working hard to fix that."
The Irish airline has already cancelled more than 160 flights over the weekend as a result of what it calls messing up “in the planning of pilot holidays”. By far the worst affected airport is Stansted, its leading base. On Monday alone, 22 Boeing 737 flights to and from the Essex airport have been cancelled, including links to Barcelona, Budapest, Oslo and Prague.
Six domestic flights to and from Stansted have been cancelled: four serving Edinburgh, and two serving Glasgow. Other UK airports are less badly affected. Manchester has cancellations to Dublin, Hamburg and Krakow, with the corresponding return flights also grounded. Dublin flights to and from Gatwick and Bristol are cancelled, as well as Birmingham-Madrid.
Martin Callanan, the aviation minister, said: “I am very concerned to see all of these reports of stranded Ryanair passengers. We expect all airlines to fulfill their obligations to their customers and do everything possible to notify them well in advance of any disruption to their journey.
“In the event of any disruption or cancellation, airlines must ensure customers are fully compensated and every effort is made to provide alternative travel arrangements.”