Ryanair Cancels Nearly 18,000 Winter Flights
Ryanair will this winter operate 25 fewer aircraft than the 400 it previously planned to, and has cancelled some 18,000 flights across the season, suspending 34 routes, as it seeks to avoid further disruption arising from lack of available pilots.
"Slower growth creates lots of spare aircraft and crews across Ryanair's 86 bases this winter," said the airline, which intends to "roster all of the extra pilot leave necessary in October, November and December" to complete a nine-month annual-leave transition period and then start the new calendar year without a backlog of holidays.
From April 2018, Ryanair will operate 435 aircraft rather than 445.
To remove the risk of "roster problems" next year, the airline will require that 40% of the annual pilot leave requirement be taken in the first quarter.
Its forecast for passengers carried in the year ending 31 March 2018 has been reduced by two million to 129 million. The figure for the following year has been cut by four million to 138 million.
The airline expects its full-year profit-after-tax forecast of $1.6-1.7 billion to remain unchanged. It adds: "Over the next two years, as Ryanair hires more pilots and raises pilot pay, costs will rise slightly, but we don't believe this will impact profitability."