Ryanair admits pilot shortage is behind flight cancellations

Ryanair admits pilot shortage is behind flight cancellations

Blaming the situation on a "significant management failure", O'Leary said the firm did not need pilots' agreement for the change.

Mr O'Leary explained the current cost of the six weeks of cancellations is £22million.

They've hired 125 pilots in the past two weeks who will be on the roster by the end of the month, as well as offering Dublin pilots an extra 10-thousand euro to compete with Norwegian.

The low-priced Irish airline is forced to cancel up to 50 flights every day from today until October 28 because they "messed up" plotting their pilots' schedules and holidays, BBC confirmed.

Now pilots have rejected an offer of a £12,000 bonus for working on their days off, but some reports claim pilots are actually leaving the airline due to the way they are treated.

He said however that if pilots "misbehave there will be no goodies".

O'Leary told Ryanair's Annual General Meeting that it did not have sufficient spare pilots for September, October and November to ensure smooth operations and was considering forcing some pilots to change their annual leave plans.

The letter also demanded that regional teams be set up to represent the pilots and be recognised as a negotiating partner by Ryanair management, which does not now recognise unions.

"Since there is no requirement in aviation regulation to provide annual leave per se, it is unclear what is compelling Ryanair to provide any leave to their pilots at this time", the association said. 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.

A letter from pilots to Ryanair had signatories from bases across Europe turning down the airline's offer of a tax-free cash bonus and warning that they are prepared to "work to rule".

Ryanair expects to have processed over 300,000 alternative routings or refunds for customers - over 95% of affected customers - by the end of this week.