Pilots are threatening to cause further misery for Ryanair passengers, hundreds of thousands of whom were told this week that their flights would be cancelled at short notice due to a shortage of crew.
Pilots met in Dublin yesterday to consider taking some form of industrial action and meetings are expected to be held at Ryanair’s other European bases, including the UK, this week, according to the London Evening Standard.
The threat of industrial action emerged just hours after Ryanair published a list of hundreds of cancelled flights up to the end of October, which are necessary – according to the airline – in order to give pilots annual leave and to sort out a problem created by new regulations which require it to change the way pilots’ annual flying hours are calculated.
The cancellations are likely to cost Ryanair £20 million to £25 million as some of the 400,000 passengers whose flights were cancelled will be entitled to compensation as well as refunds.
The Irish pilots’ union, IALPA, claims Ryanair’s explanation for the ‘mess-up’ in scheduling holiday leave is not the whole reason behind the flight cancellations, which will leave thousands of passengers stranded.
IALPA says 718 pilots have left the airline this year, many defecting to rival Norwegian, which has set up a base in Dublin.