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>> Ryanair faces big compensation claims, after canceling thousands of flights. The budget airline is canceling 40 to 50 flights every day for the next six weeks, after Chief Executive, Michael O'Leary, admitted to what he called a cork up in planning pilot holidays. He's guaranteed compensation for affected passengers, that could see a bill running close to $24 million.
Reuters' Conor Humphries says it's a big blow to the company's public image.>> Ryanair has spent the last four years, built trying to reinvent its reputation as an airline which is friendly to customers, which is able to attract high-paying business passengers. And the suggestion that any of Ryanair's flights could be cancelled at the last minute has done huge damage to that.
>> Europe's largest airline by passenger numbers, says air traffic control strikes and bad weather are also factors. But some think the company has a problem holding onto its cockpit crews.>> Some pilot's unions, however, are suggesting that Ryanair is having a specific problem hiring and retaining pilots at senior levels.
If this is the case, that could have serious implications for Ryanair's very ambitious expansion plans.>> Norwegian Air said it hired more than 140 Ryanair pilots this year. Though Ryanair said it lost fewer than 100 of it's 4,200 pilots, and had recruited some from it's rival. Meaning it could fully crew its peak schedule.