Ryanair is hiring 125 pilots to clean up its cancellations ‘mess’ — and could force 500 existing pilots to change holiday plans

File photo of passangers leaving a Ryanair aircraft at Modlin airport near Warsaw, Poland June 26, 2014.  REUTERS/Franciszek Mazur/Agencja Gazeta

Ryanair is hiring 125 pilots to avoid additional flight cancellations and could force 500 existing pilots to change holiday plans.

According to Sky News, Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary said on Thursday that that the firm would recruit 125 pilots in the next week or two and increase pay for others.

He also said the airline is considering forcing 500 pilots to change their holiday plans to avoid risking additional flight delays.

Ryanair this week offered pilots a bonus to work 10 additional days to alleviate a pilot shortage that has caused the cancellation of over 2,000 flights in September and October, hitting the airline’s share price and reputation.

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.

He admitted “significant management failure” regarding the rostering of pilots, and warned that the moves would not guarantee an end to disruptions.

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