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Ryanair cancels hundreds of flights, sparking outrage from customers
17 September 2017, 12:40 | Austin Hogan
RyanAir is Canceling Hundreds of Flights Right Now
The low-priced carrier was prompted to take the drastic step after seeing less than 80 per cent of its planes arrive on time in the first two weeks of September.
It says this is because of increased holiday allocations to pilots and cabin crew.
While it now calculates crew leave from April to March, regulators are forcing it to calculate it from January to December from the start of next year, it said.
The move is created 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".
The delays have been prompted by air traffic control issues in France, the U.K., Germany and Spain, as well as thunderstorms, it said in the release.
Between 40 and 50 flights, less than 2 per cent of the 2,500 it operates daily, will be cancelled until the end of October.
In a statement, Ryanair said: "This needs to be allocated before 31 Dec 2017 to enable the carrier to switch over to the calendar leave year (as is now required by the Irish Aviation Authority) from 1 January 2018 onwards".
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Olivia Poole said her flight on Sunday was cancelled "with no explanation".
It says it sent an email to anybody who was booked on a flight up to and including Wednesday 20 September which has been cancelled but it has not said when people are booked to travel after that date will be notified.
"Customers will be contacted directly about this small number of cancellations and offered alternative flights or full refunds".
"Ryanair apologises sincerely for the inconvenience caused to customers by these cancellations".
A pinned tweet on Ryanair's official Twitter account states travelers whose flights have been canceled as a result of the decision will be notified by email. It begins "If you have been affected by the Ryanair programme of flight cancellations you are entitled to a choice of refund or rerouting".
The move is also aimed at bringing punctuality back up to 90 percent by providing additional standby aircraft, after Ryanair's on-time performance fell below 80 percent in the first two weeks of September.
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