Sep 19, 2017

Ryanair still operating with half normal number of standby pilots

Ryanair is still operating with about half the number of standby pilots it would normally rely on for its 2,000 flights a day, despite taking its abrupt decision to cancel flights for up to 400,000 passengers over the next six weeks. Michael O'Leary, the Ryanair chief executive, told the Financial Times on Tuesday that the number of pilots on standby had fallen to 20-30 a day in early September, compared with its typical cover of 200. Its move to cancel up to 2,100 flights over the next six weeks has seen the number of standby pilots rise to more than 100 a day. He said the airline was working out what the minimum number of standby pilots should be. Mr O'Leary denied that Ryanair had an overall shortage of pilots, noting it had increased pilot numbers over the past year to more than 4,200 pilots and had a waiting list of about 2,500.

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