Ryanair CEO apologises for "major management failure" over flight cancellations

"There isn't a union".

Over the past few days, several have said to me how unhappy and disrespected they feel at work, yet they've never had a unified voice to bargain for a better deal.

O'Leary told shareholders he took personal responsibility for the staffing issues and the way the company broke the news to customers, adding that Ryanair's pilot pay levels may have been too modest in the past. The Guardian newspaper also reported that Ryanair pilots are trying organize a protest under which they would refuse to do any work beyond what is required by their contracts, which would cause more scheduling headaches for the airline.

In a new twist to the ongoing mass cancellations of Ryanair, the boss of the Irish airline Michael O'Leary told shareholders today that they are planning to delay a week's holiday of its pilots to combat the growing pressure of mass cancellations.

Pilots who work a day off will continue to be paid the relevant working day off payment, "sector" pay for hours worked, and their annual leave payments, if working a day that was previously allocated as annual leave.

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Speaking at Ryanair's annual general meeting, O'Leary said he planned to force pilots to give up a week of vacation time this year to prevent further flight cancellations.

O'Leary said: "There isn't a bad relationship between Ryanair and our pilots".

Similar offers may be made at other airports, but that will depend on whether those bases have a surplus of pilots, he said. "If Norwegian Air are holding open days, there's nothing we can do, despite the fact that we have very good terms and conditions".

Ryanair contracts are now written up under Irish employment law and a significant number of pilots are employed on contracts via third-party agencies. "I say we want to put our hands up, which is what we do when we make a mess", O'Leary told a news conference.

Ryanair said that by the end of this week, it expects to have re-accommodated, or authorised refund requests, to over 95 percent of the 315,000 customers affected by these cancellations.


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