Low-cost airline Ryanair is to reduce its flying schedule over the coming months
Photo: Delano archives
Low-cost airline Ryanair is to reduce its flying schedule over the coming months because of a backlog of leave creating a pilot shortage.
On Wednesday the firm announced in a press release that it would slow its growth by removing 25 aircraft from its 400-strong fleet from November to March, and then 10 in April 2018.
The measure comes after the airline cancelled up to 50 flights per day, equivalent to 2%, had been cancelled, over a six-week period from 18 September. It sets out to eliminate further cancellations by rostering all outstanding pilot leave by the end of the year and 40% of 2018’s pilot annual leave during the first quarter of the new year.
The 34 routes suspended for the winter season include London Gatwick to Belfast, London Stansted to Edinburgh and Glasgow as well as flights serving Germany, Greece and Poland. Luxembourg is not included in the list.
The reduced service translates as one flight less per day over five months. Any customers affected have been notified via email that they can take an alternative flight or be refunded. They have also received a €40 (€80 return) travel voucher which will allow them to book a flight on any Ryanair service between October and March 2018, according to Ryanair.
Ryanair, which has a workforce of 4,200 pilots, thanked the hundreds of pilots who offered to work during their days off or cancel leave. It further said it would implement pay increases to captains and first officers operating out of Dublin, Stansted, Berlin and Frankfurt from 1 October.