Crew holiday backlog sees Ryanair cancel 50 flights a day until November

Ryanair Boeing 737-800

Ryanair on Friday announced plans to cancel between 40 and 50 flights per day until the end of October, disrupting hundreds of thousands of journeys, in what it said was a bid to improve its ratio of on-time flights.

The airline, which flies to more than a dozen destinations from Leeds Bradford Airport, says staff need to catch up with holiday entitlement.

The move, Ryanair says, will help bring punctuality back up to 90%; it has described the dip below 80% as "unacceptable".

'Flights are operating as scheduled unless an email confirming a cancellation has been received.

The Irish Travel Agents Association has called on the airline to publish a full list of the flights to be cancelled over the next six weeks.

The airline said that less than 2% of flights would be cancelled. "Please check the email address used to make your booking".

Affected customers have reported how they were only informed of flight cancellations the night before they were due to fly, then not offered a replacement flight until several days later.

Through cancelling fewer than 2% of the flights during the upcoming six months, or until the winter schedule begins, we will succeed in improving the resilience of operations for scheduling and restore the annualized target goal of punctuality of 90%, said a Ryanair spokesperson.

In a statement, the carrier says: "Ryanair has operated at record schedule and traffic levels during the peak summer months. but has a backlog of crew leave which must be allocated before December 31st 2017".

The cancellation of flights has left many would be holidaymakers angry as the announcement came after many people booked flights with the airliner.

However, passengers have taken to social media to express their anger, with some of them left stranded overseas.

If you think you are eligible for compensation from your cancelled flight, you can fill in the online form on Ryanair's website.

Up to 285,000 passengers could be affected, including those flying from Stansted, with the airline offering alternative flights or refunds.

Mr Jacobs said a "slightly higher number" of flights would be cancelled this weekend. Compensation may also be payable depending on the notice period Ryanair has given you.