Ryanair cancelled the flights of another 400,000 customers and scrapped a bid for Alitalia on Wednesday, in a plan to keep its pilots on side and draw a line under its rostering fiasco. Mia Womersley reports.
This autumn will bring travel chaos for hundreds of thousands more Ryanair customers. That as the budget airline announces yet another raft of cancelled flights. The company has also cut back its growth plans for the first time in years - all in a desperate bid to minimise the impact of a shortage of pilots. The news is contrary to what Ryanair's boss, Michael O'Leary, had said last week: that no more flights would be cancelled. Rostering issues caused the sudden grounding of over 2,000 flights in September and October. That hit the airline's share price and reputation, impacting 300,000 people. But on Wednesday (September 27) Europe's largest airline by passenger numbers said it would cancel flights for around 400,000 extra passengers - all to minimize flight delays and so that pilots wouldn't have to reschedule holidays. In real terms, this means 25 fewer aircraft will fly from November and 10 fewer from April 2018. Despite all this, the company is not altering its forecast of 1.4 to 1.45 billion euros in profits and average fares are expected to be slightly lower over the next two months as the airline promotes seat sales. Ryanair will now no longer pursue its interest in Italian carrier Alitalia.