Ryanair customers affected by thousands of cancellations will discover their fate tonight as it was revealed that 2,024 of its routes will be axed over the next six weeks, leaving passengers stranded or out of pocket.
The carrier blamed the loss on air traffic control delays, strikes, bad weather and a backlog of holiday which it claims led to punctuality falling to below 80 per cent over the last two weeks.
Chief executive Michael O'Leary, who saw his company's shares fall by three percent knocking around £500 million off its market value, insisted the airline is 'not short of pilots'.
He said Ryanair had "messed up" the allocation of holidays and trying to over-allocate holiday during September and October, while it is still running most of the summer schedule, and taking flight delays because of principally air traffic control and weather disruptions.
Ryanair chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs said the company will 'continue to send regular updates' to passengers.
Ryanair also said a 'slightly higher number' of flights were cancelled this weekend, and it will bring in additional standby aircraft to help restore punctuality. A spokesman said the number of flights delayed or cancelled was 'unacceptable'.
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