September 20, 2017

Ryanair – Pilots Take Flight Leaving Passengers Grounded

Ryanair has been hit with a self-inflicted HR disaster as poor holiday scheduling for its own pilots has led the popular airline to cancel 2,000 flights, leaving many holiday-makers and business travellers stranded.

The airline has apologised, admitting ‘we messed up in the planning of pilot holidays’ after getting their forward planning all wrong.

Ironically, during the peak period of July and August Ryanair had a surplus of pilots.

This disaster will take weeks, if not months, for the airline to recover from the reputational and financial consequences, and provides a dramatic case study in the damage that can proceed from poor holiday scheduling.

All businesses need to plan and schedule holidays that allow the business to fully function at peak trading periods.

In addition, employers should remind staff to take holiday during the year so that everyone isn’t trying to use them up at the end of the holiday year.

It is a popular myth that employees can dictate when they want to take annual leave. In reality, it is up to business owners to manage and plan employees’ holiday effectively.

This high-profile case should serve as a useful reminder to review your holiday booking procedure to avoid the kind of turbulence Ryanair are currently experiencing.

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About the author

Carl Hardcastle

Employment Law Consultant