Europe's leading budget airline has told customers it is cancelling up to 50 flights a day over the next six weeks so that its staff can have time off.
Ryanair said it made the decision to cancel "less than 2% of our flying programme" to improve punctuality, which over the last fortnight has dropped below 80%.
"We have operated a record schedule (and traffic numbers) during the peak summer months of July and August but must now allocate annual leave to pilots and cabin crew in September and October (while still running the bulk of our summer schedule)," a Ryanair spokesperson told the press.
"This increased leave at a time of ATC [air traffic control] capacity delays and strikes has severely reduced our on-time performance over the past two weeks to under 80%. By cancelling less than 2% of our flying programme over the next six weeks (until our winter schedule starts in early November), we can improve the operational resilience of our schedules and restore punctuality to our annualised target of 90%."
Ryanair also said staff will "be doing [their] utmost to arrange alternative flights and/or full refunds" for customers whose flights have been cancelled. But understandably, the announcement has proven very unpopular with passengers whose travelling plans have been affected at very short notice. Many have taken to Twitter to vent their frustrations.