Published: Fri, September 22, 2017
Markets | By Lucia Cruz

Pilot Crisis for Ryanair rolls on as crews reject holiday offer

Pilot Crisis for Ryanair rolls on as crews reject holiday offer

As a result, the airline said it had to allocate annual leave to pilots in September and October.

The Italian antitrust authority on Wednesday opened a probe into Ryanair for alleged improper commercial practices over the Irish low-priced airline's mass cancellation of flights, including over 700 in Italy.

When asked about reports that pilots are threatening industrial action Mr O'Leary responded: "If you want and need to ask your staff to give up holidays no work to rule can alter that".

The announcement comes just hours after a letter was sent to the company by a group of its existing pilots, rejecting an offer of a tax-free £12,000 bonus in exchange for working overtime.

Mr O'Leary said pilots due to take a four-week block of holidays in the next few months because a change in annual leave rotas will be told to reduce that to three weeks. Compensation for passengers forced to re-book could reach 25 million euros ($30 million).

He also said the airline is considering forcing 500 pilots to change their holiday plans to avoid risking additional flight delays.

Ryanair is accused of breaking European Union law because it is failing to tell customers whose flights have been cancelled about their right to compensation.

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It said new contracts "should help stop the large number of colleagues who are leaving for 'greener pastures'".

"Ryanair is not competing in the market place, there are many pilots that have left Ryanair such as the 140 to Norwegian Airlines but also many airlines throughout Europe have a holding pool of pilots and that holding pool is where the pilots have successfully competed the application process but awaiting a start date".

The Irish Examiner reports a draft letter signed by Ryanair pilots has warned they will "work to rule".

Alex Neill, managing director of home products and services, said: "It's outrageous that Ryanair passengers who have had already to endure huge inconvenience are essentially being double charged for booking seating and luggage".

Ryanair expects to have processed over 300,000 alternative routings or refunds for customers - over 95% of affected customers - by the end of this week.

In Italy, where Ryanair carries more passengers a year than any other airline, the antitrust agency is now looking into whether it has violated consumers' rights.

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