Ryanair To Take A Weeks Leave Off Pilots To Solve "Mess-Up"

Ryanair cancelled flights list UK Stansted

This problem isn't unique to Ryanair, and the airline industry needs to work together to tackle it.

"I would challenge any pilot to explain how this is a hard job or how it is they are overworked, or how anybody who by law can't fly more than 18 hours a week could possibly be suffering from fatigue", he said.

Ryanair Holdings Plc (RYA.L, RYAAY) pilots have rejected a cash bonus offered to them by the airline in exchange for cancelling their leave as the airline grapples with massive flight cancellations.

While the cancellations were required because it was too late to cancel those breaks in September and October, O'Leary said he may force pilots due leave in November and December to take three week blocks instead of four.

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).

The Irish Air Line Pilots' Association says the real problem is that Ryanair failed to plan for the implementation of new European safety regulations that take effect January 1 and require all airlines to use a regular calendar year for calculating pilot flight hours and working days.

Ryanair says: "We don't comment on rumour or speculation, especially when it originates from competitor pilot unions". To restore punctuality, it cancelled many flights at short notice; passengers were marooned around Europe.

Ryanair's chief executive Michael O'Leary yesterday admitted to a "cock up" over pilot shortages that led him to cancel flights and disrupt the plans of hundreds of thousands of passengers.

"One of the issues we have to deal with is that we may have got pilot pay a little on the low side", O'Leary said.

It said new contracts "should help stop the large number of colleagues who are leaving for 'greener pastures'".

The airline expects to have refunded or processed alternative routes for 95% of affected customers by the end of this week.

Ryanair contracts are now written up under Irish employment law and a significant number of pilots are employed on contracts via third-party agencies.

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