Update 6.30pm: News that Ryanair is to cancel an additional 400,000 bookings in the coming months is extremely worrying, according to Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Transport Robert Troy TD.
Deputy Troy went on to urge Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary to accept an invitation extended to him to address the Oireachtas Transport Committee next week.
Deputy Troy said Ryanair has made a tremendous contribution to the aviation industry down through the years but said it was important that current difficulties facing the company were ventilated in public.
“It’s worrying that Ryanair has announced these additional cancellations considering it’s CEO Michael O’Leary stated at a press conference last week that it was on top of the situation and that further disruption was unlikely. People are understandably concerned that further cancellations could be on the way considering the manner in which Ryanair have handled this issue to date.
“I urge Michael O’Leary to take up the invitation that has been issued to him to attend the Oireachtas Transport Committee. While he is under no obligation to attend the committee, it would nonetheless be the right thing to do. Ryanair passengers want assurances that this issue is being dealt with appropriately and the Oireachtas Transport Committee offers Mr O’Leary a forum in which to address these concerns.”
Earlier: Ryanair announced today it will cancel some flights until March 2018. The airline has already cancelled 2,000 flights over six weeks because of a backlog of crew holiday.
The airline says it will fly 25 fewer aircraft from November, and 10 fewer aircraft from April 2018, which the airline said would slow its growth (from 9% to 4% on a monthly basis) and free up aircraft and crews.
It will carry four million fewer passengers than forecasted as a result, up to the end of March, with a total of 138 million now expected to fly.
Taking more flights out of service means that Ryanair will be able to "roster all of the extra pilot leave necessary" in October, November and December, the budget airline said.
As a result, 34 routes are suspended for the winter season from November to March 2018.
(You can scroll down to the bottom of the article for a list of all the affected routes.)
All affected customers have been contacted by Ryanair and offered a voucher in addition to a refund or rebooking.
"Flying 25 fewer aircraft this winter will result in a number of flight and schedule changes from Nov to Mar 2018. We have less than 400,000 customers booked on these flights and many of these flights have zero bookings at this time," a statement from Ryanair said.
"Less than 1% of the 50m customers Ryanair will carry this winter are affected and every one of these customers has received an email today giving them between five weeks to five months notice of these schedule changes, offering them alternative flights or full refunds of their airfare."
“We sincerely apologise to those customers who have been affected by last week’s flight cancellations, or these sensible schedule changes announced today," Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary said.
"We deeply regret any doubt we caused existing customers last week about Ryanair’s reliability, or the risk of further cancellations.
"From today, there will be no more rostering-related flight cancellations this winter or in summer 2018.
"All of the passengers who have been affected by these disruptions have now been offered re-accommodation or full refunds and their applicable €261 entitlements. In addition today, they are receiving a travel voucher (€40 one way/€80 return)."