Pilot light: Ryanair’s mass cancellations are a problem of its own making

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WHEN Ryanair convinced many of its pilots to take fewer holidays during peak summer-travel season, it probably thought it was being clever. But poor planning and a bit of bad luck have left the airline with a shortage of working pilots, many of whom have now taken time off, for the autumn. The shortfall has forced Ryanair to cancel some 2,100 flights starting on September 16th and continuing through October. Ryanair’s woes were caused in part by a change in the way the airline determines employee leave. Previously, Ryanair counted holidays in the year from April. In 2016, under pressure from the Irish Aviation Authority, Ryanair adopted the calendar year instead. As part of the transition, it needed to allow its employees to take the entirety of their leave between April and December of this year, leaving it with a staff shortage. As a result, the airline will probably have to scrap around 50 flights every day until the end of October.This has left customers annoyed and Ryanair with a public-relations problem. Some early flights were cancelled with little notice. And Ryanair was slow to release a detailed schedule of cancellations. Until it did so on Monday, passengers who had booked flights during the affected period were unsure if they would have to change their travel …

Link to article: www.economist.com/blogs/gulliver/2017/09/pilot-light?fsrc=rss

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