Ryanair's operations chief to step down after cancellations

Ryanair's operations chief to step down after cancellations

Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary said in a statement: "Over the past 30 years Mick Hickey has made an enormous contribution to Ryanair, especially the quality and safety of our engineering and operations functions".

Ryanair sent an apology to all their pilots following the rota problems, which saw the company cancel 20,000 flights, causing disruption for 700,000 passengers.

O'Leary reportedly told captains at four of its key bases that they would get €10,000 ($11,711) more per year, and first officers €5,000 more, if they stay with Ryanair.

However, one Ryanair pilot who contacted the BBC, said: "It's the standard".

On Friday, it emerged that chief executive Michael O'Leary has written to pilots with a pledge to beat the pay offered by competitors and to improve working conditions over the next six months. "It's a, How nice we are, followed by a carrot and then a threat".

He said that Ryanair would deliver "significant improvements to your rosters, your pay, your basing, your contracts and your career progression over the next 12 months" in the letter addressed to "all Ryanair pilots".

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In a letter to pilots Mr. o'leary also apologized for the change in their work schedule and asked them not to leave the airline.

But passengers have complained about the short notice of the cancellations and the consumer group Which? said Ryanair's compensation information was "woefully short".

The company was already coming under heavy fire for cancelling up to 50 flights a day in the middle of September before an extra 18,000 flights were axed at the end of the month.

Ryanair blamed a regulatory change for the crisis, saying it required all pilot annual leave be completed by the end of the year.

Ryanair says 98% of customers hit by flight cancellations in September and October have been refunded or offered alternative transport.