Ryanair shares fell 3 percent on Monday after the Irish budget airline took the unusual step of cancelling between 40 and 50 flights per day until the end of October, disrupting hundreds of thousands of journeys. Kate King reports.
For most of 2017 Ryanair had been flying high - An improved image had seen passenger numbers increase, along with profit expectations. But the low-cost airline hadn't budgeted for bad publicity. SOUNDBITE (English) BGC PARTNERS, MIKE INGRAM, SAYING: "Part of its profitability part of its business model is logistics, it's excellence in logistics, working out where their planes are and turning them around. Well it's great if you know where you where your planes are but unfortunately didn't seem to know where their pilots were , but I don't see Ryan Air walking from this looking unscathed . " Ryanair shares fell 3 percent in early trade on Monday, after it revealed up to 50 flights a day will be canceled over the next six weeks - due to staff shortages caused by a backlog of leave. It's the second decline in a week after the company lost an EU court battle which allowed cabin crew to take labour disputes to local courts instead of ones in Ireland where the carrier is based. . SOUNDBITE (English) BGC PARTNERS, MIKE INGRAM, SAYING: "You know since the last three trading sessions we have seen a total decline of eight percent I think it's somewhat unerved analysts that there was no reference to the company's own guidance for the full year to end of March 2018 and the possible impact of that." The budget airline is also struggling to recruit and keep staff. Rival Norwegian Air has reportedly confirmed it's poached 140 pilots so far this year. Ryanair's latest blunder - might also see passengers jump ship the thousands affected can chose from a refund or an alternative flight.