Ryanair announce emergency measures to keep pilots

The airline plans to buy back leave from pilots to ease the pressure on its flights

Ryanair have announced a series of emergency personnel measures to ease the pressure on the raft of flight cancellations the company has made since Friday.

The airline, which also announced it would publish all flight cancellations through October by the end of the day, plans to buy back annual leave from pilots to ease pressure the company’s chief executive, Michael O’Leary, said on Monday.

Commenting on the ongoing uncertainty Mr O’Leary said that while the airline doesn’t have a pilot shortage, other airlines are poaching pilots. It therefore plans to recruit pilots from both Air Berlin and Alitalia.

Speaking on a call with analysts, Mr O’Leary also said the company plans to introduce pilot loyalty bonuses in an effort to keep its crew.


Mr O’Leary said its flight cancellations “will have a reputational impact” and noted that punctuality performance at the airline had dropped to between 60 and 70 per cent.

Ryanair, which now expects compensation claims of up to €20 million, moved on Friday to say it will operate a programme of flight cancellations over the next six weeks because of pilot shortage difficulties. The disruptions to its flights schedule will affect thousands of travellers, including some who are abroad and are expecting to return home with the airline.

Peter Hamilton

Peter Hamilton

Peter Hamilton is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in business