Ryanair's chief operations officer is taking flight after airline's mass cancellation trouble

09 October, 2017, 00:46 | Author: Terri Saunders
  • An additional 315,000 Ryanair bookings were cancelled late last month on top of the 400,000 cancellations it had already announced

O'Leary lashed out at Ryanair pilots last month after an apparent staffing shortage caused by a mix-up over annual leave led to the cancellation of 2,100 flights.

Michael Hickey (centre) is leaving Ryanair.

Ryanair chief Michael O'Leary has apologised to his pilots after calling them "full of their own self-importance", and promised them pay rises, as the beleaguered airline juggles cancelled flights, angry regulators and litigious passengers.

Amid an exodus of pilots to competitors, Ryanair has written to cockpit crews offering to boost their pay and conditions.

Addressing comments he had made about pilots after the company's AGM last month, Mr O'Leary said Ryanair's pilots were the best in the business, worked hard, were well trained and were extremely professional.

Earlier this week, O'Leary issued an unprecedented apology to his pilots in an attempt to stem the crisis at the airline, which has also faced the threat of an employee revolt.

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"If you have, or are considering joining one of these less financially secure or Brexit-challenged airlines, I urge you to stay with Ryanair for a brighter future for you and you family", he said.

Numerous airline's 4,200 pilots had joined unions over the past two weeks over discontent with the disruptions caused by the rota changes.

The letter also received a lukewarm response from pilots who contacted the BBC. That move affects some 700,000 passengers.

Hickey joined Ryanair as an engineer in 1988 when the airline was far from the dominant carrier it is today and became Director of Engineering in 2000 before taking over as Chief Operations Officer three years ago.

The company was already coming under heavy fire for cancelling up to 50 flights a day in the middle of September before an extra 18,000 flights were axed at the end of the month.

The airline subsequently emailed 20,000 customers outlining their rights and explaining how and when they will be booked onto other flights.

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