Ryanair cancels more flights; consequences for Dutch travelers still unclear

Photo: Ryanair
Ryanair. (Ryanair)

After two weeks of chaos, Irish budget airline Ryanair announced that it is canceling hundreds of flights from November. This will affect another 400 thousand travelers in Europe who booked flights through the airline. How many flights to and from the Netherlands are involved, is still unclear, NOS reports.

According to Ryanair, these cancellations are necessary to fix holiday planning problems for its staff. A surplus of vacation days and poor planning resulted in an acute shortage of pilots. The Irish airline already canceled between 40 and 50 flights per day for September and October. All in all that amounted to around 300 thousand passengers' tickets being canceled. From November, Ryanair will fly 25 fewer planes than usual. From April next year, it will be 10 fewer flights. 

Ryanair hopes that this measure will make sure that as of January 1st, there will be no pilots with too many vacation days. The company promised that pilots will take a large part of their compulsory vacation days in the early months of next year, to avoid similar problems. 

Exactly how many Dutch travelers will be affected by this new round of flight cancelations, is not yet clear. One affected traveler, Nathalie Katuin, spoke to NOS. She and seven friends were scheduled to fly with Ryanair from Eindhoven to Portugal for a yoga holiday in early November. But that flight was canceled. On Wednesday, she received another email saying that the alternative flight Ryanair offered them, is now also canceled. 

"And there are no alternatives", Katuin said to NOS. Their only option now is to book more expensive flights with another airline. "Ryanair offered to pay back the ticket costs, but it's about more than that. We also booked a cottage and a rental car. It's making me very nervous."

All passengers affected by the new cancelations were notified by email on Wednesday. Ryanair offered to book them on another flight or reimburse their ticket fees. They have between 5 weeks and 5 months to chose another flight, according to NOS. All passengers whose flight was canceled will also receive a 40 euro voucher, with which they can book a flight between October and March. 

Britain's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is considering taking legal action against Ryanair. According to the authority, Ryanair is deceiving customers by canceling flights and offering no proper alternatives, AD reports. The CAA wants Ryanair to do more for their customers, including booking them on other airlines if Ryanair can not offer a suitable alternative flight.