Ryanair is to change its calendar for annual leave from April to March to January to December from 1 January 2018.
As a result of the change, the airline has had to allocate annual leave to pilots in September and October, leading to the cancellation of approximately 50 flights a day between 21 September and 31 October 2017.
Ryanair has attributed the flight cancellations to trying to allocate a full year’s annual leave allowance for pilots into a nine-month period between April and December 2017.
Michael O’Leary, chief executive officer at Ryanair, said: “Ryanair is not short of pilots, we were able to fully crew our peak summer schedule in June, July and August, but we have messed up the allocation of annual leave to pilots in September and October because we are trying to allocate a full year’s leave into a nine-month period from April to December. This issue will not recur in 2018 as Ryanair goes back onto a 12-month calendar leave year from 1 January to 31 December 2018.
“This is a mess of our own making.”