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Ryanair Loses Its First Executive Over Cancellation Chaos

Ryanair Loses Its First Executive Over Cancellation Chaos
Jackie Reddy

Michael Hickey, who has been with the carrier for three decades, will depart at the end of October after thousands of Ryanair flights were canceled earlier this autumn due to a scheduling blunder.

It has been announced that Michael Hickey, Ryanair’s chief operations officer, will leave the airline at the end of the month, Sky News reports. Responsible for scheduling at the carrier, Hickey was in charge when problems with pilots’ scheduled leave grounded more than 2,000 flights last month.

This, in turn, affected the travel plans of over 700,000 passengers. Ryanair has said that almost all of those impacted by cancellations earlier in autumn have since either received refunds or been offered alternative flights.

Speaking of the current situation in an official statement, Kenny Jacobs, the airline’s chief marketing officer said, “99 per cent of the customers affected in September and October have now been re-accommodated, and the remaining one per cent (less than 4,000 customers) are urged to get in contact regarding their re-booking or refunding options. We apologize to them and the 400,000 further customers affected by our winter schedule reductions. By the end this week, we will have processed over 95 per cent of these customers’ refunds or re-routing requests.”

He added, “Our painful and deeply regretted winter schedule reductions have restored our industry leading punctuality with 97 per cent of our first wave flights departing on-time last week, which means customers can now book our low fare flights confident that there is no danger of further roster related flight cancellations.”

Jacobs’ statement comes just days after the carrier said that it was preemptively halting 34 of its routes during the winter season in an effort to halt the possibility of any additional cancellations.

Commenting on Hickey’s imminent departure, Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary stated, “Over the past 30 years Mick Hickey has made an enormous contribution to Ryanair, especially the quality and safety of our engineering and operations functions. He will be a hard act to replace.”

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