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Ryanair counts cost of flight cancellations mess

19 September 2017

"It is the potential for long-term damage that concerns us", Damian Brewer, an analyst with RBC Capital Markets, said Monday in a note to clients. "We have only taken this decision to cancel this small proportion of our 2,500 daily flights so that we can provide extra standby cover and protect the punctuality of the 98% of flights that will be unaffected by these cancellations", he added. As it ramped up capacity, Ryanair overscheduled its crews, which has led to a vacation backlog as it scrambles to meet holiday requirements by Irish authorities.

According to the Facebook post in which the carrier broke the news, Ryanair "have messed up in the planning of pilot holidays and we're working hard to fix that".

Four Dublin and 11 London flights were among 82 flights cancelled on Sunday.

The airline has outlined the affected flights, but only up until this Wednesday.

Bosses from the airline said that less than two per cent of flights would be cancelled, and that passengers will be offered alternative flights or refunds. The company says the move shouldn't impact earnings in September and October.

Shares in Ryanair, which fell by more than 3 percent in early trading, were 1.85 percent lower at 1430 GMT.

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Ryanair is changing its holiday year, which now runs from April to March, to run from January to December instead.

Ryanair has since told passengers on its Twitter page that "between today and tomorrow" it will publish a full list of the flights it plans to cancel up to October 31. 737s until the start of its winter timetable in November.

The Irish airline said it was preparing for up to 20 million euros ($23.9 million) in compensation claims and 5 million euros in lost fares as a result of the cancellations, although analysts estimated the total cost could be higher.

"On forward bookings, I'm sure it won't help but our forward bookings are running two percent ahead of where they were this time past year for September, October and November", O'Leary told a news conference.

Consumer rights group Which? called on Ryanair to give passengers more notice.

Ryanair customers whose flights are being cancelled, will receive an email by this evening informing them, chief executive Michael O'Leary has said.

Ryanair counts cost of flight cancellations mess