You might have heard Ryanair mentioned in the news yesterday, something about cancelled flights?
Well, today, the full extent of it is being revealed, as the airline admits to its mistakes and publishes the full list of flights to be cancelled in the coming weeks.
Ryanair hastily organised a press conference late yesterday, to address the “mess-up” that a holiday rostering issue caused, leaving the airline well short of pilots to fly its planes.
O’Leary apologised “unreservedly”, according to The Guardian, and called the situation “a mess of our own making”.
“We f*cked up here, and we have to fix it,” Chief Executive Officer Michael O’Leary said on a conference call, according to Fairfax.
“We should have seen it coming. This will have a reputational impact.”
O’Leary claimed if the one-off holiday rostering issue wasn’t resolved immediately, the airline’s on-time scores would fall below 50 per cent, not to mention costing them €25 million (around AU$37.5 million) in compensation payouts and other costs.
When its first cancellation warnings were issued on Friday, it left millions of travellers in the dark, O’Leary admitted.
“We did not focus on the concern we were causing to the 18 million passengers flying with us over the next six weeks,” O’Leary said, per The Guardian.
“I say sorry to them.”
Ryanair will cancel up to 50 flights every day from now until October 31, although promises to cut from routes where alternative flights are more easily accessed.
Per The Guardian, O’Leary said 75-80 per cent of passengers would be re-routed free or charge within a day of their original flight date, with compensation of up to AU$600 paid, depending on the journey length.
But that still leaves as many as 100,000 passengers seriously delayed, and given the location and nature of the budget airline, is likely to leave numerous weekend holidaymakers with ruined plans.
Ryanair won’t, however, be covering the costs of cancelled hire cars, hotels, and other travel products that will be affected by the cancellations, and definitely won’t be booking passengers on rival airlines to get them to their destination in time.
“We will not pay for flights on other airlines,” he said, per The Guardian. “We cannot afford to pay the high costs of our competitors.”
Showing his typical arrogance that he’s known for though, O’Leary added that despite all the people claiming they’ll never fly Ryanair again, people will come crawling back due to the cheap prices.
“Our booking engine is full of passengers who have sworn they will never fly with us again,” he said.
You can see the full list of flight cancellations at Ryanair right here.
Per The Guardian, Ryanair denied the reasons for the cancellations was because of a pilot shortage.
Recent claims have suggested the airline has been losing pilots to rival airlines, with Norwegian Air revealing they’d ‘stolen’ a stack of pilots from them.
“We can confirm that 140 pilots have joined Norwegian from Ryanair this year,” the airline claimed.
“Pilot recruitment is also under way for more pilots for our new Dublin base opening later this year.”
O’Leary also seemed to reject any suggestions he should resign over the screw-up, per The Guardian.
“This is clearly a mess-up,” he said. “But it is my mess-up, and a mess I have to clear up.”
Of course, Twitter is having a field day over the mess.
— Alan Monaghan (@apmonaghan) September 18, 2017
BREAKING: Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary defends flight cancellations to maintain punctuality record, saying “Better never, than late.”
— TripeMarketingBoard (@TripeUK) September 18, 2017
— Zora Suleman (@ZoraSuleman) September 18, 2017
#Ryanair new lottery game – guess if the flight you booked and paid for will take off ,answers in an email just before take off time
— Paul Sommerville (@PaulSommerville) September 17, 2017
Tips for flying with @Ryanair:
— Bernie (@EnterpriseSBox) September 16, 2017