Despite the current general annoyance about this matter, given Ryanair’s fast growth, expanding route network, and tempting value proposition this incident is unlikely to have a lasting effect on Ryanair’s performance. From Professor Loizos Heracleous, Professor of Strategy – Warwick Business School.
Its profitability leads the industry in terms of gross and net margins. Its growth is fast and ambitious, it is a leader in ancillary revenues, and it is the most efficient airline in terms of CASK (a ratio that measures cents of cost per available seat kilometre), that also makes it the greenest airline.
It appears that Ryanair had to cancel these flights because of harmonization of Irish with EU rules about how many hours pilots can fly in a certain period of time. The harmonization involved moving Ryanair’s year starting on 1 April, to the EU’s requirement of using a calendar year to calculate pilots’ flight hours.
Even though, according to Ryanair, the percentage of flights affected is small, the impact in terms of adverse publicity and frustration to customers is large. Customers do have the usual European passengers’ rights with respect to meals, accommodation and compensation in the event of cancelled flights.
However, this is of little consolation to people whose holidays and business meetings have been messed up, and at short notice at that. Even though Ryanair tried to communicate with all affected passengers, it is clear that this process did not go entirely smoothly, causing frustration and uncertainty among people whose journey has been affected.
It would be necessary for Ryanair to come up with information on future flights it will cancel as soon as possible so that passengers have more lead time to make other arrangements.