Ryanair today confirmed it will slow its growth this winter, by flying 25 less aircraft from November, and 10 fewer aircraft from April 2018.
By reducing its flying schedule in this controlled manner Ryanair will:
-eliminate all risk of further flight cancellations, because slower growth creates lots of spare aircraft and crews across Ryanair’s 86 bases this winter;
-roster all of the extra pilot leave necessary in Oct, Nov and Dec to meet the IAA’s requirement to complete a 9 month annual leave transition period (April to Dec ‘17) so that Ryanair starts a new calendar leave year from 1st Jan 2018 with no backlog;
-roster almost 40% of the annual pilot leave requirement for 2018 in Q1 2018, which removes risk of roster problems recurring next year;
-roll out a series of low fare seat sales for winter 2017 confident that there will be no further roster related cancellations;
Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary said:
“We sincerely apologize to those customers who have been affected by last week’s flight cancellations, or these sensible schedule changes announced today. While over 99% of our 129m customers will not have been affected by any cancellations or disruptions, 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. Slower growth this winter, will create lots of spare aircraft and crews which will allow us to manage the exceptional volumes of annual leave we committed to delivering in the 9 months to Dec 2017. We will start a new 12 month leave period on the 1st of Jan 2018 in full compliance with EU regulations and the IAA’s requirements.
All of the passengers who have been affected by these disruptions have now been offered re-accommodation or full refunds and their applicable EU261 entitlements. In addition today, they are receiving a travel voucher (€40 one way/€80 return) which they may use to book any Ryanair flight of their choice during October for travel between October and March 2018. We look forward to welcoming them all on board.”