Ryanair cancels another 18000 flights in Nov17-Mar18

Almost 400,000 passengers to be affected by further Ryanair schedule changes in the coming months

Almost 400,000 passengers to be affected by further Ryanair schedule changes in the coming months

Ryanair has today announced that a further 400,000 passengers will have their flights cancelled between November 2017 and March 2018.

Infants are also not eligible to receive the vouchers, meaning parents who had been due to fly with young children won't be issued with an extra €80 on their behalf.

Ryanair is halting its Belfast to Gatwick service from November until March.

Only customers whose flights were scheduled up to October 2 can claim compensation, however - passengers receiving more than two weeks notice of a flight cancellation are not entitled to compensation under EC261.

In addition, Ryanair said it will operate ten fewer aircraft from April 2018.

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Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary apologized to passengers and stated that "slower growth" will allow the company to grant necessary vacation time to its employees.

In total 34 routes across Europe will be suspended during the winter months.

"If you have not received an email from Ryanair today then you are among the 99% of customers whose flights will be unaffected by these changes", it says.

The no-frills carrier also signalled that it would no longer require its pilots to give up a week of their leave.

This is the latest twist in a saga that got worse today after Ryanair announced the cancellation of hundreds more flights over the coming months.

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Some Ryanair pilots have in recent weeks been encouraging each other to band together to take advantage of increased demand for experienced pilots - especially among low-priced carriers - to force management to improve conditions.

The gesture means Ryanair's original €25m (£22.2m) cost estimate for the pilot rota blunder has doubled to €50m.

The company plans however to boost pilot recruitment over the next 12 months from "5.2 crews (10.4 pilots) per aircraft to 5.5 crews (11 pilots) per aircraft".

In today's statement, the airline also said it would end its interest in Italy's Alitalia to help "eliminate all management distractions".

Analysts welcomed Ryanair's decision not to pursue its interest in Alitalia.

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To avoid further discomfort, the airline has reportedly emailed all of the customers affected, offering them the choice of a refund or an alternative flight.

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