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Ryanair pilots: No thanks to €12000 bonuses for working backlogged holiday days

Ryanair pilots: No thanks to €12000 bonuses for working backlogged holiday days”

Speaking today at the Ryanair annual general meeting in Dublin, chief executive Michael O'Leary said pilots would be told to defer a week of holiday as it wrestles the cancellations.

According to reports, at least 30 pilots rejected Ryanair's cash bonus offer of up to £12,000 to cancel holiday time.

During the AGM in Dublin today (Thursday 21 September) Mr O'Leary told Ryanair shareholders the airline does not need the agreement of the pilots in order to take back a week of leave.

Ryanair is facing an estimated bill of £17 million in compensation payouts to customers as a result of mass cancellations over the next six weeks.

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The Irish Air Line Pilots' Association says the real problem is that Ryanair failed to plan for the implementation of new European safety regulations that take effect January 1 and require all airlines to use a regular calendar year for calculating pilot flight hours and working days.

Irish broadcaster RTE News says it has seen documents that indicate pilots are considering a work-to-rule action across Europe, which would "significantly worsen" flight disruptions now running at up to 50 cancellations a day.

He dismissed talk of possible industrial action, including reported plans for a work-to-rule, saying: "There isn't a union".

"We know that numerous pilots in these holding pools are actually Ryanair pilots waiting for a start date and when they get that start date they will then issue Ryanair with their notice". At present there is a risk that Ryanair will be forced to cancel more flights over the coming weeks.

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"If Norwegian Air are holding open days, there's nothing we can do, despite the fact that we have very good terms and conditions".

Angry customers inundated Ryanair's Facebook page and many are also complaining their calls and messages through the airline's call centre and online "chat" service are going unanswered or being cut off.

"There's an underlying problem at Ryanair, which is quite simply that the company can not replace pilots as fast as they quit", he wrote.

"Ryanair" hopes to process the requests of over 95% of affected customers by the end of this week, the report said.

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