Budget airline Ryanair has caused outrage after it announced last night that 40-50 flights per day wold be cancelled for the next six weeks.
The move is designed to improve “system-wide punctuality” which the airline admitted had fallen below 80 per cent in the first two weeks of September, through a combination of air traffic control capacity delays and strikes, weather disruptions and “increased holiday allocations to pilots and cabin crew”.
Ryanair said it had operated at record schedule and traffic levels during July and August, but this had led to a “backlog of crew leave” as the airline's holiday year transitions from its current April start to a calendar year.
“By cancelling less than two per cent of our flying programme over the next six weeks (until our winter schedule starts in early November), we can improve the operational resilience of our schedules and restore punctuality to our annualised target of 90 per cent,” said Ryanair's Robin Kiely.
However, travellers who had booked flights with Ryanair were furious at being left without transport.
Some claimed they were left “stranded” as the replacement flights they were offered were for several days later.
Even customers who had not received a message to say their flight was cancelled vowed never to book with Ryanair again, claiming their holiday had been ruined due to the “uncertainty”.