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Ryanair plans to cancel 40-50 flights a day for next six weeks

The airline says the move is to improve its punctuality.

Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary
Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary
Image: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire/PA Images

RYANAIR HAS ANNOUNCED it plans to cancel 40-50 flights daily for the next six weeks (to the end of October) to improve its punctuality.

The airline said its punctuality has fallen below 80% in the first two weeks of September due to a number of reasons including air traffic control (ATC) strikes, weather disruptions and the impact of increased holiday allocations to pilots and cabin crew.

Ryanair said the latter issue has been caused as it moves its holiday year (currently April to March) to a calendar year (January to December) from 1 January 2018 onwards, meaning a backlog of crew leave must be allocated before 31 December.

In a statement, the airline said: “These tighter crewing numbers and the impact of ATC capacity restrictions in the UK, Germany and Spain, as well as French ATC strikes and adverse weather (thunderstorms) have given rise to significant delays in recent weeks.

Ryanair’s on-time performance has declined from 90% to under 80% over the past two weeks, a figure that is unacceptable to Ryanair and its customers.

“By reducing its scheduled flying programme over the next six weeks by less than 2% (of its over 2,500 daily flights), the airline will create additional standby aircraft which will help restore on-time performance to its 90% average.

“Ryanair apologises sincerely for the inconvenience caused to customers by these cancellations. Customers will be contacted directly about this small number of cancellations and offered alternative flights or full refunds.”

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