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Ryanair: possible cancellations over the next 6 weeks


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Well, yes, Idun, especially as I might be one of those affected - brings it home!  They do say that anyone affected will receive a text or email to say so, but how long beforehand is anyone's guess.  Probably not in enough time to make alternative arrangements especially given the odd places Ryanair flies to and from, and the fact that sometimes that timing has been chosen intentionally. 

I am only going because of a certain important family event which will not happen again ... and I timed the flights to arrive the day before and to leave on the next available flight as I cannot afford to be away for too long whilst we are in the middle of the continuing remedial works after the flood in January.

Pretty poor management and appalling customer relations IMHO!

However, it has made me look at alternative possibilities, but whilst they might not suit as well, it may that they become the first choice another time (if there is one!).

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I havn't read the articles but just saw one headline so may be mistaken, I read that it was because staff had not taken all their Holiday entitlement.


Something doesn't sit right with me, could it be that the EU or France have put the screws on them for "exploiting" the poor downtrodden slave staff or is it just some consolidation of flights with low wait-listing going on to maximise profit?


If its the latter then expect future cut-backs or even closure of the routes concerned.

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Problem of their own making Chancer.

They used to have a holiday calendar for staff that ran from April to March. They decided to change (goodness knows why) to a January to December.

I would expect June - August would be a period when holiday was prohibited except in the most extreme situations. So now they have a lot of staff who probably took no holiday in the first quarter because they were using up what was left from last year and probably did not take mega amounts of holiday in April/May. They are now trying to fit a large portion of their annual leave into the last 4 months of the year (in pervious years it would have been 7 months to the end of March in the following year).

Result- perfect chaos.
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Certainly losing pilots will not improve the situation, but RA has historically had a relatively high turn over of staff. It being used as an entry level or many to get into the aviation industry.


Gives a more detailed overview, and I think this paragraph is telling regarding the loss of pilots:

Yet with the winter season just a few weeks away, it would not make sense for large-scale poaching to be happening – most other airlines will shortly be looking around the crew room and wondering why they are paying so many pilots.
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Looks like my gut instinct was correct this time:


The airline has always had an April to March calendar for the calculation of pilots’ hours and leave. But last year the Irish Aviation Authority told the airline that, by the end of 2017, it must fall into line with the rules adopted by European regulators and use a calendar year. And that has caused massive complications. 


Tha article goes into great detail but basically they have less than 2 months of the low season to implement the necessary changes, imagine the furore if they had started during the school holidays, the pilots and staff would have been happy but the punters not.


For their business April to March makes absolute sense but the EU demands conformity.

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Selectively read what you want to hear.


or perhaps the Ryanair marketing executive.

Whilst the independent is usually good I prefer facts to Simon Calder's opinion.
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Are you saying that Ryanair have not been forced to change their operating calender by the end of the year?


I did not read that as opinion but fact, correct me if it is not so.


Of course there will be other factors not least of which the staff concerned who will not want to bend over backwards, if Ryanair can cancel/consolidate some unprofitable flights at the same time then these will of course be prioritised.

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you are beginning to sound a bit like a closet UKIP supporter wanting to blame everything on the EU.

Firstly this is not a sudden surprise for RA that they have to come into line with the rest of Europe.

Secondly even O'Leary, who is never backward in blaming those who he sees as creating havoc for his company, seems to have been silent in blaming the EU.

The simple fact is that freedom of movement and skills across Europe means you have to have common standards - and especially where safety is concerned.

Pilot holidays and rest periods are part of a safety regime. Having differing standards (calendars) between British Isles companies and the rest of Europe creates nothing but problems. Imagine a pilot from RA that leaves in say May to join say LOT. He took 16 days holiday from the previous year between January and the end of March. When he arrives with LOT, are those holidays counted in his current year or in last year?? They could be counted either way - and maybe are.

I would guess that many British Isles airlines have had to face this issue but without creating mayhem, because for many they will also have tied holidays in alongside the tax year. {This is a total British based anachronism based around quasi- ecclesiastical Lady Days and has no place in a modern world.} Even Ireland decided to ditch the Lady Day calendar for tax purposes in 2002, but it seems RA did not follow suit wrt holidays until now, when it must.

Richard, I am not sure your hack in Belfast is any better or worse than my hack in London. He (yours) has been told that 140 pilots have left this year - but we don't know the source. More importantly we do not know the significance.

Let me explain if I can. The 140 (and other numbers are out there) has been reported widely as being:

for last year - I take this to mean Jan - Dec 2016

for the last year - I take this to mean most likely August 2016 to August 2017

and now in your report so far this year - which I take to mean Jan - August 2017

So which one is right?

Let's assume for the moment that 140 relates to a whole year.

140 sounds a lot of pilots - even to me and even knowing that RA have a high turnover rate for the reasons I gave above. But what does this number mean? Is it more than the normal churn in pilots "enjoyed" by RA?

We don't know but let's try and make some guesses.

If 140 pilots lost did indeed cause a loss of 2% of RA's flights we could make a first pass assumption (always dangerous) that 140 pilots represents something like 2% of RA's pilot work force.

Now let us assume that a commercial pilot has a working life of 40 years (that sounds a bit high to me, but if it is less then the argument that follows

becomes stronger).

So we would expect 2.5% (1/40th.) of an average commercial workforce to retire every year. So simple retirement should account for 2.5% loss of pilots every year. Against that 2% does not sound excessive - even I it relates to so far this year, 2% so far this year =3% in a whole year - and given RA's reported high turnover sounds perfectly normal.

The sensationalist number now begins to look a lot more like relatively normal.

Is it? We have no way to judge without knowing more - and we don't, and I would guess we never will.

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[quote user="andyh4"]Cancer you are beginning to sound a bit like a closet UKIP supporter wanting to blame everything on the EU. [/quote]


That is uncalled for Andy and even if the Cancer was a typo (and at the present moment its a very insensitive word) I expected better of you.

In my postings I have frequently said that Ryanair were probably using the situation to cancel half empty flights by consolidation.

I take your point that they were told to do this last year.

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To return this thread to something like useful - the full list of cancellations has now been published, and, praise God, neither of my flights are on it, so I am breathing a sigh of relief, but still having alternative plans in place.

Of course, this doesn't mean some flights won't be added, or indeed removed form the list, but at least it is a start.  BTW, young M O'L did go on TV and say, yes, we made a booboo.  Little else he could do given the furore, and yes, they made a pig's ear out of something that if it had been handled correctly, would have been understood.  What punters always need is correct information as soon as is possible ... with luck RA might have learnt from this, but I suspect they will revert to type - eventually.

As I said yesterday, if it was a choice between being late or being cancelled, I know what I would prefer!

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Going back 10 years I flew a lot with Ryanair and I had no complaints. Not even a delay. But as soon as I had kids, I gave up flying with them. Stuff that for a game of soldiers. I really don't want the hassle. I have NOOOO sympathy for families with kids, wedding parties or whatever who had their holiday wrecked by Ryanair. Ryanair is not a service provider. Which is fair enough.

Also, I really don't like the clientele to be fair. I'm not a snob but.....the average Ryanair passenger is a bit rough. Well very rough.....or very dumb. I don't want to sit next to them.

So yeah, Ryanair is great if you are a student or if you are a loner. Otherwise, fly a decent airline. Or drive.

P.S It will be interesting to see what happens in the next couple of months.
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I have to say ALBF that is not my experience - based on a relatively limited number of flights. Clientele was pretty much like a lot of other airlines if you are flying stowage. But then just maybe I was flying more select routes than your good self.

One thing that has changed perhaps since you last flew with them is an increase in business passengers, who have been first downgraded by their company from Business Class to stowage and then encouraged to take loco flights when possible.

Indeed I have seen some managers become so obsessed that they completely lose the plot (ie we are doing this to save money). You must take the loco flight - means leave the office around midday to catch a mid afternoon flight; take an overnight hotel; have your meeting which finishes too late to take the return flight; so another overnight hotel; fly back but arrive too late to be worth going into the office. So one days meeting takes two and a half days and involves two nights in a hotel, compared with fly with a flag carrier on the early morning flight; have the meeting and fly back on the late evening flight - but not allowed because it is not loco flight.
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We use Eurostar direct to Avignon these days, but have flown with Ryanair from Luton to Nîmes many times in the past. Can't say I've ever come across people such as ALBF describes, but I know that others on this forum use or have used Ryanair on that route and are very pleasant people.

Another thought has just sprung to mind - there's a bishop who has used Ryanair for many years; it's not him in his purple shirt that ALBF is alluding to, surely.......
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Admittedly it has been over 11 years since I flew with them.

It was grim in those days. Especially Stantead with the mad rush to get on the plane only to find you yourself sat next a young Scottish bloke which had vomited all over his trousers and shoes. That was a joy. But only paid a pound for the flight !!! Dirty planes and rude 'aeroplane blond' staff. I always had a back up plan if things went wrong.

Like I said, have no sympathy for those stuck. Don't people read the news ??? You get what you pay for with Ryanair. That is their business model.

We flew Flybe a couple of years ago into Nantes and it was a pleasure. We have a Ryanair flight from Tours to Stantead but I would never use it. Even if the airport is only 10 mins away.
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"Also, I really don't like the clientele to be fair. I'm not a snob but.....the average Ryanair passenger is a bit rough. Well very rough.....or very dumb. I don't want to sit next to them. "

That will be me then. I have been a frequent Ryanair flyer for the last fifteen years and have had no major problems.
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