Michael O’Leary threatened Ryanair pilots he would withdraw their holidays if they “misbehaved”
Ryanair’s decision to cancel up to 50 flights a day for the next six weeks has thrown the airline into chaos.
Pilots are uniting across the continent over a dispute regarding their working conditions.
Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary said the cancellations have been made to correct an error with pilot holiday leave.
But staff have rejected an initial bonus of €12,000 as they demand higher wages and better working conditions.
Mr O’Leary threatened pilots he would withdraw their holidays if they “misbehaved”.
Ryanair cancelled flights: Pilots are uniting against Michael O’Leary
The comments have outraged already disgruntled staff, who say they are fed up. One Ryanair pilot told MailOnline: “Bases are uniting and joining forces. Over 46 EU bases have joined forces and will be presenting letter to company and press release.
“There are reports of lots of pilots joining BALPA union. Ryanair will hate this.
“Michael O’Leary’s statements are disgusting, we regularly fly over 40-44 hours in a week, 50-60 duty hours, waking up at 4 am plus commuting long distances.
“He hasn’t got a clue and is stirring up the pilots for a clash.”
Another pilot said: “If Michael O’Leary thinks we do an easy job then I’d love to see him try and land an aircraft in gusty conditions late at night after having flown anything up to 15 hours.”
Ryanair cancelled flights: Michael O’Leary threatened staff of consequences if they “misbehaved”
Pilots were initially told to take a four-week block of holidays to use up their leave balance over the next few months.
But this has since been retracted to three weeks as Ryanair attempts to reduce mass flight cancellations.
Despite being criticised for saying pilots had a “very easy job”, Mr O’Leary insists staff work under good conditions.
He said: “There isn’t a bad relationship between Ryanair and our pilots.”
But the CEO also admitted he “cannot guarantee there won’t be further cancellations” as the saga unfolds.
Ryanair is cancelling up to 50 flights per day for the next six weeks
Mr O’Leary conceded his handling of the crisis had made him look like a “clown”.
The crisis was triggered by changing the holiday rota which ran from April to March to one based on the calendar year.
The row, which Mr O’Leary admits will cost about £22million, coincided with rumours that Ryanair pilots are considering strike action, claims denied by the airline.
At the company’s annual general meeting in Dublin, Mr O’Leary said: “We make mistakes. This time we made a major boo-boo.”
Over 2,000 flights have so far been cancelled through to October, affecting over 300,000 customers.