More than 305,000 Ryanair customers affected by a pilot rota blunder which forced the cancellation of 2,100 flights have either been refunded in full or rebooked on alternative routes, the airline has said.
The company said the remaining 10,000 customers affected had yet to get in touch, and urged them to do so.
Ryanair has dismissed reports that the loss of 140 of its pilots to a Norgwegian rival earlier this year played a role in its decision to axe 2% of its flights up to the end of October.
It said it had “messed up” the planning of pilot holidays and also blamed the cancellations on a backlog of crew leave, air traffic control strikes, and weather disruptions.
The move to cut flights was aimed at improving punctuality, it said, which had fallen below 80% in the first two weeks of September.
During a shareholders’ meeting last Thursday, boss Michael O’Leary said the firm planned to recruit 120 new pilots within “the next week or two” to avert a fresh wave of cancellations.
It estimated a bill of €25m (£22.1m) from compensation and lost fares.
Video: Ryanair to recruit 125 new pilots in two weeks
On Monday, the airline said 97% of affected passengers had either been refunded or rebooked, and urged the remaining 3% who it says have yet to contact the company to get in touch.
Ryanair marketing chief Kenny Jacobs said: “We again apologise sincerely to each of the 315,000 customers whose original flights were cancelled over a six-week period in September and October.
“More than 97% of affected customers have now been reaccommodated, and the remaining 3% (less than 10,000 customers) are urged to get in contact regarding their rebooking or refunding options.”
Mr Jacobs said no further flights had been cancelled over “rostering reasons” and that the firm’s punctuality had increased to 96%.
“We continue to work hard to resolve this short-term rostering failure,” he said.
“We have expanded our customer service team, who are assisting all affected customers with their requests, as we try to resolve any problems we have created for them, for which we again sincerely apologise.”
Ryanair has offered those affected a refund or an alternative flight – as demanded by EU rules.
Source: Sky News