Ryanair: fixing rostering problems, but CAPA analysis says more to this than simple pilot shortage

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Ryanair's flight cancellations in the six weeks to the end of Oct-2017 have been followed by the cancellation of more flights in the coming winter. This will slow its passenger growth from 9% to 7.5% in FY2018 and from 8% to 7% in FY2019. Ryanair is also increasing pilot recruitment and, at four major bases, pilot pay. Ryanair has also withdrawn its bid for Alitalia to "eliminate all management distractions".

Ryanair insists that the latest measures will rectify its crew rostering problems. Some observers had inferred a deeper problem, namely a shortage of pilots, but CAPA analysis in this report does not support this. However, pilot retention and career development may need more management attention and may be starting to receive it. After four years of trying to be nicer to passengers with its 'Always Getting Better' programme, CEO Michael O'Leary may now be adopting a more cuddly approach with is pilots.

Ryanair has a history of quick changes when things go wrong. Mr O'Leary has held his hands up, admitted to errors and apologised. The cuddly new Mr O'Leary has not lost his resolve to make sure the same thing does not happen again.

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