Ryanair to Cancel More Flights–400,000 Passengers Affected

September 27, 2017 Last Updated: September 28, 2017

Ryanair is cancelling a further 18,000 flights this year, affecting 400,000 passengers traveling between November and March.

34 routes are affected, including London Stansted to Edinburgh and Glasgow, Gatwick to Belfast, and Newcastle to Faro.

All passengers affected by the cancellations received an email on Wednesday, Sept. 27, Ryanair said.

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A Ryanair aircraft lands at Ciampino Airport in Rome, Italy Dec. 24, 2016. (REUTERS/Tony Gentile)

The no-frills airline previously announced plans to cancel up to 50 flights per day until the Oct. 31, affecting 315,000 customers.

Ryanair emailed customers whose flights were canceled up to the end of October and offered them refunds or alternative flights. They were also offered €40 ($47) travel vouchers that can be used between October 2017 and March 2018.

The flights canceled earlier this month were blamed on management “messing up” pilots’ rosters by over-allocating months of their annual leave to the period from September to December, the airline said.

Around 4,200 pilots work at Ryanair. The company has since “recruited and will train over 650 pilots” by May 2018.

The move to cancel 18,000 flights between November and March will “provide stability to pilot rosters” the airline said.

The budget airline apologized for its cancellations for the second time this month.

Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary speaks during a press conference in London on August 2, 2017. (NIKLAS HALLE’N/AFP/Getty Images)

In his announcement of the cancellations, Ryanair’s chief executive, Michael O’Leary, apologized for the upset.

“We sincerely apologise to those customers who have been affected by last week’s flight cancellations, or these sensible schedule changes announced today,” he said, adding, “From today, there will be no more rostering related flight cancellations this winter or in summer 2018.”

Ryanair said they “plan to grow more slowly (4% instead of 9%) this winter” in order to handle the over-allocated annual leave.

“Slower growth this winter, will create lots of spare aircraft and crews which will allow us to manage the exceptional volumes of annual leave we committed to delivering in the 9 months to Dec 2017,” O’Leary said.

The flight cancellations from last week are expected cost the company less than 25 million euros ($30 million) and the free flight vouchers issued to affected passengers will also be less than 25 million euros, the company said.

The airline also announced that it will withdraw its bid from buying Italian airline Alitalia to “eliminate all management distractions.”

People walk to board a Ryanair flight at Stansted Airport, northeast of London, Britain, September 7, 2017. (REUTERS/Kevin Coombs)