Ryanair PLC (LON:RYA) saw its shares fly lower today on the continuing fallout from its move to cancel a number of flights for a period of six weeks in order to sort out holiday arrangements for its pilots.
The European Commission weighed in on the row today warning the Ireland and UK listed discount airline that it had to comply with EU rules on passenger rights, including possible reimbursement and compensation, over its plans to cancel between 40 and 50 flights per day until the end of October.
The Financial Times reported that an EC spokesman told a news conference: “Airlines operating in the EU need to respect the European rules ... Passengers whose flights are cancelled have a comprehensive set of rights.”
The newspaper said, he added: “We have to check if all this is respected by Ryanair. For instance, you are entitled to reimbursement if you are not warned two weeks in advance,” he said.
Ryanair is changing its holiday year, which currently runs from April to March, to run from January to December instead.
The airline has blamed a backlog of staff leave for the cancellations, which so far it has only given notice of up to this Wednesday, September 20 on its website - the vast number of which affect departures from London Stansted airport - with customer groups pressuring the firm to unveil a full list.
Meanwhile, Reuters reported today that Norwegian Air Shuttle has recruited more than 140 pilots from Ryanair in 2017, according to a spokesman for the Nordic budget rival.
In afternoon trading, Ryanair shares were 2.5%, or €0.43 lower in London at €16.71.