Ryanair Cancels Additional 18,000 Flights Through March 2018; Suspends Some Routes Altogether
A bad situation keeps getting worse for Ryanair. What began as a mass cancellation of 2,300 flights through October due to a pilot shortage caused by lack of planning for vacation, has turned into even more cancellations on the horizon. Ryanair announced on Wednesday that it is cancelling an additional 18,000 flights between November and March 2018.
Ryanair, the biggest airline in Europe by passengers carried, is saying it will "slow its growth this winter" between November 17, 2017, and March 18, 2018, by flying 25 fewer aircraft. Then, in April, it will fly 10 fewer aircraft. The carrier said it's making this announcement now to eliminate the risk of further flight cancellations in the future. With the new set of cancellations, 400,000 Ryanair passengers will have their travel plans affected. This is in addition to the approximately 315,000 customers who already have had their flights canceled in the first round.
If you're booked on a flight that's affected by this new round of cancellations, Ryanair confirmed that you should have received an email on Wednesday advising you of any changes, offering you alternative flights or a full refund. In addition, Ryanair is giving customers who have had their flights canceled a €40 (€80 return) travel voucher, which will allow you to book a flight on any Ryanair service between October and March 2018. If you haven't received an email from Ryanair, then according to the carrier you are on flights that are not affected.
At this time, we know that Ryanair is planning to suspend service on 34 routes from November through March, with the 25 aircraft groundings:
Bucharest (OTP) — Palermo (PMO)
Chania (CHQ) — Athens (ATH)
Chania (CHQ) — Pafos (PFO)
Chania (CHQ) — Thessaloniki (SKG)
Chania (CHQ) — Berlin (SXF)
Edinburgh (EDI) — Szczecin (SZZ)
Glasgow (GLA) — Las Palmas (LPA)
Hamburg (HAM) — Edinburgh (EDI)
Hamburg (HAM) — Katowice (KTW)
Hamburg (HAM) — Oslo (OSL)
Hamburg (HAM) — Thessaloniki (SKG)
Hamburg (HAM) — Venice (TSF)
London (LGW) — Belfast (BFS)
London (STN) — Edinburgh (EDI)
London (STN) — Glasgow (GLA)
Newcastle (NCL) — Faro (FAO)
Newcastle (NCL) — Gdansk (GDN)
Sofia (SOF) — Castellón (CDT)
Sofia (SOF)— Memmingen (FMM)
Sofia (SOF) — Pisa (PSA)
Sofia (SOF) — Stockholm (NYO)
Sofia (SOF) — Venice (TSF)
Thessaloniki (SKG)— Bratislava (BTS)
Thessaloniki (SKG)— Paris (BVA)
Thessaloniki (SKG)— Warsaw (WMI)
Trapani (TPS) — Baden Baden (FKB)
Trapani (TPS) — Frankfurt (HHN)
Trapani (TPS) — Genoa (GOA)
Trapani (TPS) — Krakow (KRK)
Trapani (TPS) — Parma (PMF)
Trapani (TPS) — Rome (FCO)
Trapani (TPS) — Trieste (TRS)
Wroclaw (WRO) — Warsaw (WAW)
Gdansk (GDN)— Warsaw (WAW)
The carrier says it's working on a solution and it's not short of pilots. In a statement, it said that it's heard from hundreds of its pilots who've offered to work days off, work one week of their allocated month of leave or offered to go to public to correct the "false claims" made about the airline. It expects the total cost of flight cancellations last week to total less than 25 million euros, and the cost of free flight vouchers issued Wednesdays to be less than 25 million euros.
Remember that Ryanair is subject to passenger-friendly EU flight regulations, which is why it could be so relatively lenient with its policies, which are usually heavy on fees. Check out this post for more details on the EU cancellation and delay policy.