Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary has said the firm is planning to make pilots delay a week’s holiday as it wrestles with massive flight cancellations.
His comments came at the airline’s annual general meeting in Dublin. Ryanair is cancelling 40-50 flights every day for the next six weeks, after it admitted it had “messed up” the planning of pilot holidays.
A group of Ryanair pilots has rejected a cash bonus to work extra days.
Ryanair had offered captains a one-off payment of £12,000 or 12,000 euros, and first officers £6,000 or 6,000 euros, but they said they wanted new contracts and better working conditions instead.
Mr O’Leary told the AGM that Ryanair was facing a “significant management failure”.
He said pilots who had a four-week block of holidays coming up in the next few months because of rota changes would be told to take three weeks instead and have the other week in January.
He said the firm did not need pilots’ agreement for the change. Mr O’Leary said the cancellations had cost Ryanair about 25 million euros (£22m).
He accused unions of trying to give the company “a bloody nose” and said staff did not want union representation.