Ryanair to cancel 40-50 flights daily for 6 weeks in punctuality drive

The budget airline said it “apologised sincerely to the small number of customers affected by these cancellations, and will be doing our utmost to arrange alternative flights and/or full refunds for them.”

16 September 2017, 10:51am
Ryanair said the measure was intended to tackle a drop in flight punctuality
Ryanair said the measure was intended to tackle a drop in flight punctuality
Budget airline Ryanair has announced that it will be cancelling 40 to 50 flights every day for the next six weeks, in a bid to improve punctuality of flights.

The Irish-based low cost carrier announced its plans on Friday, aimed at correcting an "unacceptable" drop in flight punctuality to below 80% in the first half of September, which it blamed on “a combination of ATC capacity delays and strikes, weather disruptions and the impact of increased holiday allocations to pilots and cabin crew.”

After operating at a record schedule, the airline has a backlog of crew leave which must be allocated before 31st Dec 2017

“These tighter crewing numbers and the impact of ATC capacity restrictions in the UK, Germany and Spain, as well as French ATC strikes and adverse weather (thunderstorms) have given rise to significant delays in recent weeks.  Ryanair’s on-time performance has declined from 90% to under 80% over the past two weeks, a figure that is unacceptable to Ryanair and its customers.”

By reducing its scheduled flying programme over the next six weeks by less than 2% (of its over 2,500 daily flights), the airline will create additional standby aircraft which will help restore on-time performance to its 90% average.  Ryanair apologises sincerely for the inconvenience caused to customers by these cancellations.  Customers will be contacted directly about this small number of cancellations and offered alternative flights or full refunds.

Ryanair’s Robin Kiely said the airline “apologised sincerely to the small number of customers affected by these cancellations, and will be doing our utmost to arrange alternative flights and/or full refunds for them.”

But this has done little to soothe the anger and frustration felt by the affected passengers, many of whom have slammed the company on Twitter for leaving them in limbo.

In addition to compensation for the cancellations, customers are entitled to be booked on a rival airline if the original airline doesn't have an alternative flight available, according to European Passenger Rights legislation.

EU rules on compensation for cancelled flights


  • Passengers are entitled to assistance and compensation, if the disruption was within an airline's control


  • Airlines have to offer full refunds, paid within seven days, or rebookings for a flight cancelled at short notice


  • In addition, passengers can also claim compensation


  • Cancellation compensation amounts to €250 for short-haul, €440 for medium-haul and €600 for long-haul flights 


  • Passengers who reach their destination more than three hours late can receive compensation from €200 to €600, depending on the length of flights and the delay involved