Budget airline Ryanair has been forced to cancel up to 50 flights a day so staff can use up their annual leave.
The no-frills airline said the cancellations would take place over the next six weeks in a statement on Friday (September 15).
According to The Mirror , the announcement comes after Ryanair cancelled over 160 flights within 48 hours.
82 flights set for Friday (September 15) and another 80 scheduled for Saturday (September 16) were cancelled.
Ryanair say this is necessary "to improve its system-wide punctuality which has fallen below 80% in the first two weeks of September".
The airline say this happened "through a combination of ATC capacity delays and strikes, weather disruptions and the impact of increased holiday allocations to pilots and cabin crew as the airline moves to allocate annual leave during a 9 month transition period (April to December 2017) to move the airline’s holiday year (currently April to March) to a calendar year (Jan to Dec) from 1st January 2018 onwards."
Ryanair’s Robin Kiely explained: “We have operated a record schedule (and traffic numbers) during the peak summer months of July and August but must now allocate annual leave to pilots and cabin crew in September and October (while still running the bulk of our summer schedule).
"This increased leave at a time of ATC capacity delays and strikes, has severely reduced our on-time performance over the past two weeks to under 80%.
"By cancelling less than 2% of our flying programme over the next six weeks, (until our winter schedule starts in early November) we can improve the operational resilience of our schedules and restore punctuality to our annualised target of 90%.
"We apologise 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.”
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