Sept. 16 (UPI) — European airline Ryanair is canceling hundreds of flights in the next six weeks due to a new employee vacation schedule.
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.
“Your flight is operating as scheduled unless you have received a cancelation mail,” the tweet states. “Please check the email address used to make your booking.”
The airline plans to cancel 40 to 50 flights a day until the end of October, citing “tighter crewing numbers” as the result of a new employee-leave calendar that forced pilots and crew members to take time off, the Independent reported.
“By canceling less than 2 percent of our flying program over the next six weeks, we can improve the operational resilience of our schedules and restore punctuality to our annualized target of 90 percent,” the airline said.
Ryanair said it operated a “record schedule and traffic numbers” during July and August, the Telegraph reported, but was required to provide annual leave to pilots and cabin crew in September and October.
“This increased leave at a time of ATC capacity delays and strikes (in France), has severely reduced our on-time performance over the past two weeks to under 80 percent,” the airline said.
The airline’s head of communications, Robin Kiel, issued an apology to the thousands of customers likely affected by the cancellations in the coming weeks and said it would work to accommodate alternate travel plans.
“We apologize sincerely to the small number of customers affected by these cancellations, and will be doing our utmost to arrange alternative flights and/or full refunds for them,” he said.