Along with this, Ryanair also expressed its intention to decrease the projected growth of passenger flow in flight winter season 2017/2018 from 9% to 4%, having laid up 25 airplanes of 400 located in the park. This should create supplemental reserve of aircraft and crews, which will reduce the risk of flight cancellations in the future. Rynair declared on mass cancellation of flights for the first time on September 15th, after the punctuality of flights fell to 80% in the first half of September due to shortage of pilots and a number of unfavourable factors.
The first wave caused cancellation of several flights till the end of October 2017, which affected 315,000 passengers; during the second wave, Ryanair cancelled 18,000 flights scheduled since November 2017 till March 2018, affecting 400,000 clients of the low-cost company. The shortage of pilots was explained by Ryanair as a result of switching to a new vacation leave system for pilots, based on the calendar year. Earlier, the company had been calculating the year from April of the year to March of the following year; but starting from 2018, the calculation will be made from January to December.
In the course of the transition stage from April to December 2017, Ryanair had to provide for the pilots vacations within 9 months, not 12. It was also confuted by Ryanair that the problem arouse due to mass resignation of pilots. According to the airline’s data, less than 100 captains of 2000 resigned from the company, mainly because of retiring on a pension or entering other air companies to long-haul flights, and fewer than 160 co-pilots, who took a job in other airlines. There are total of 4200 pilots working in the air company.