In a new twist to the ongoing mass cancellations of Ryanair, the boss of the Irish airline Michael O’Leary told shareholders today that they are planning to delay a week’s holiday of its pilots to combat the growing pressure of mass cancellations.
With this change in rota now, Ryanair pilots who had a four-week of holidays coming up in the next few months would now be taking three weeks instead, and have the other week in January.
Talking about this “significant management failure” and cancellations which have cost Europe’s biggest airline about £22m, O’Leary told the annual general meeting in Dublin today that a pay rise to the tune of £10,000 has been offered to some pilots at London Stansted, Dublin, Frankfurt and Berlin airports in exchange for helping out. This is on top of a cash bonus.
The company has already angered many customers by canceling up to 50 flights a day for the next six weeks, after being left short-staffed by a botched revamp of its internal vacation planning. That has affected over 300,000 customers, although the airline stresses that it’s only 2% of its total flights in the period.
O‘Leary also accused the unions of trying to give the company “a bloody nose”, and how the staff did not want a union representation.
This new development comes at a time when there growing news reports of pilots trying to re-negotiate their contracts with the airline and discussing the possibility of “mass sick days”. If these pilots refuse to work extra days, more cancellations and trouble could be on the way for the Irish airline.