Ryanair has confirmed that its service from Gatwick to Belfast will be suspended from November until March.
In a statement published today on their website, the airline listed 34 routes suspended for “the winter season from November to March 2018.”
The airline says that by “slowing growth” and flying 25 fewer aircraft from its fleet of over 400 planes, it will “eliminate all risk of further flight cancellations, because slower growth creates lots of spare aircraft and crews across Ryanair’s 86 bases this winter.”
Ryanair’s Chief Executive, Michael O’Leary, said: “We sincerely apologise to those customers who have been affected by last week’s flight cancellations, or these sensible schedule changes announced today.
“While over 99% of our 129m customers will not have been affected by any cancellations or disruptions, we deeply regret any doubt we caused existing customers last week about Ryanair’s reliability, or the risk of further cancellations.”
He continued: “From today, there will be no more rostering related flight cancellations this winter or in summer 2018. Slower growth this winter, will create lots of spare aircraft and crews which will allow us to manage the exceptional volumes of annual leave we committed to delivering in the nine months to Dec 2017. We will start a new 12 month leave period on the 1st of Jan 2018 in full compliance with EU regulations and the IAA’s requirements.”
Mr O’Leary added: “All of the passengers who have been affected by these disruptions have now been offered re-accommodation or full refunds and their applicable EU261 entitlements. In addition today, they are receiving a travel voucher (€40 one way/€80 return) which they may use to book any Ryanair flight of their choice during October for travel between October and March 2018. We look forward to welcoming them all on board.”