Ryanair to delay pilot leave as carrier battles cancellations

Ryanair to delay pilot leave as carrier battles cancellations

Speaking today at the Ryanair annual general meeting in Dublin, chief executive Michael O'Leary said pilots would be told to defer a week of holiday as it wrestles the cancellations.

Pilots in Stansted, Frankfurt and Berlin will also be offered the same amount - as the company says traditionally they don't want to base themselves in these locations.

Similar offers may be made at other airports, but that will depend on whether those bases have a surplus of pilots, he said.

He also said there have been no demands for new contracts and told shareholders the blunder had cost the company around £22million and described the situations as a "mess".

He dismissed talk of possible industrial action, including reported plans for a work-to-rule, saying: "There isn't a union".

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Ryanair are hoping to prevent further flight cancellations by taking back one week of its pilots' holiday, but they can't guarantee more disruption.

FLIGHT CLUB Is your Ryanair flight cancelled?

He said pilots who had a four-week block of holidays coming up in the next few months because of rota changes would be told to take three weeks instead and have the other week in January.

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

They are said to be looking for permanent local contracts for all employees.

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Pilots who work a day off will continue to be paid the relevant working day off payment, "sector" pay for hours worked, and their annual leave payments, if working a day that was previously allocated as annual leave. But a group of pilots rejected that offer on Thursday and threatened to launch a "work to rule" campaign.

Instead of being employed as staff, they are grouped into mini-companies which provide service to a United Kingdom company which in turn provides Ryanair with its pilots, said Cullen in a BBC interview.

The current crisis is being officially blamed on pilot holidays but details have been emerging of an exodus of crews to other budget & low-priced airlines such as Norwegian and Jet2 who operate the same type of aircraft as Ryanair.

Customers affected by cancellations which run until October 28 will be emailed offers of alternatives or full refunds and details of their compensation entitlement, the budget airline confirmed.

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