Pilot Crisis for Ryanair rolls on as crews reject holiday offer

Ryanair cancelled flights list UK Stansted

"I don't even know how there would be industrial action in Ryanair", O'Leary said. "There isn't a union".

This new development comes at a time when there growing news reports of pilots trying to re-negotiate their contracts with the airline and discussing the possibility of "mass sick days".

He said pilots who had a four-week block of holiday coming up before the end of the year because of rota changes would be told to take three weeks instead.

The airline did not need pilots' agreement for the change, he said.

The Italian antitrust authority on Wednesday opened a probe into Ryanair for alleged improper commercial practices over the Irish low-priced airline's mass cancellation of flights, including over 700 in Italy.

The BBC reported that in a letter seen by it, pilot representatives from 30 of the company's 80 or so European bases have turned down the cash bonus offer.

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Pilots in Stansted, Frankfurt and Berlin will also be offered the same amount - as the company says traditionally they don't want to base themselves in these locations. Since that announcement and the chaos that followed, stranded passengers have complained that Ryanair isn't providing the correct information for refunds and compensation for cancelled flights and that calls are going unanswered.

Ryanair decided last weekend to cancel 50 flights a day for a six-week period after a shift to counting staff flying hours over a calendar year meant too many of its pilots hit their maximum allocation.

Ryanair chief Michael O'Leary rejected claims an exodus of pilots to rivals was behind what he described as a "mess of our own making".

According to Sky News, Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary said on Thursday that that the firm would recruit 125 pilots in the next week or two and increase pay for others. "If Norwegian Air are holding open days, there's nothing we can do, despite the fact that we have very good terms and conditions".

"We have taken on extra customer service teams to speed up the rate at which we accommodate and action alternative flight requests or refund applications".

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