Ryanair flights fiasco sees refunds or transfers for 98 per cent of affected customers
CRISIS-hit Ryanair has said 98 per cent of customers impacted by its flight cancellation fiasco in September and October have been refunded or transferred on to other flights or transport.
The airline said in a flight traffic update that the remaining 2 per cent of customers affected over the first two months of disruption have yet to contact the group.
Ryanair has been under heavy fire since it announced last month that 2,100 flights would be cancelled in September and October - up to 50 a day - due to an error over pilot holiday rosters.
It delivered a further blow last week when it said an extra 18,000 flights for the winter season were cancelled - a move that will hit 400,000 customers.
The schedule disruption includes the carrier's Belfast International to Gatwick route, which will be suspended from November until next March.
In its latest update, Ryanair apologised again for the disruption, which has ruined holiday plans for swathes of its customers.
Kenny Jacobs, chief marketing officer at Ryanair, said: "We have now refunded/re-accommodated 98 per cent of customers who were impacted in September and October.
"The remaining 2 per cent of affected customers have yet to contact us.
"We again sincerely apologise to our customers for these deeply regretted cancellations."
The firm's September traffic figures, which include the initial 2,100 cancellations announced, show passenger traffic grew 10 per cent to 11.8 million.
Its load factor - a measure of how well it fills its planes - improved to 97 per cent from 95 per cent a year earlier.
The low-cost carrier was forced to email customers affected by flight cancellations over the weekend to clarify their rights after it was threatened with legal action.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) had accused the Dublin-based group of "not complying with the law" over its handling of the cancellations.
It said Ryanair had not told passengers that under EU261 rules they were entitled to be re-routed by another carrier.
Ryanair has since informed passengers they can receive a refund or be transferred on to other flights or travel by trains, buses or car hire.
But passengers have expressed their frustration with the airline, with many left out of pocket due to a lack of alternative flights and accommodation bookings they can no longer use.