Ryanair swoops in with ‘rescue flights’ for passengers after cancellations by other airlines — but act fast

Jun 21, 2022

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Ryanair has launched a mission to “rescue” passengers whose flights have been cancelled by other airlines. But act fast: the “low-cost rescue flights” will only be available until midnight on 23 June.

In a brazen powerplay to cash in on the woes of its British rivals, the Irish budget carrier announced the launch of 200 “rescue flights” from 19 of its U.K. airports to Europe “to facilitate UK families whose flights are being cancelled by BA, easyJet and TUI”.

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The move comes in spite of a planned strike over pay and conditions this weekend by Ryanair crew in France, Spain, Portugal, Belgium and Italy.

Since travel restrictions were lifted in March, a number of airlines have been blindsided by a surge of sun-starved holidaymakers rushing to get out of the country for the first time in years.

An industry-wide staffing crisis has left some carriers struggling to cope with the stampede, leading to long queues, lengthy delays and hundreds of last-minute flight cancellations.

The worst-hit is easyJet, which has already been forced to cancel hundreds of flights to destinations all over Europe as it desperately tries to stabilise its summer schedule.

Related: EasyJet confirms it will be cancelling hundreds more summer flights

‘Rest easy’ with Ryanair?

Ryanair, on the other hand, has remained relatively unscathed by the issues.

The airline has cancelled relatively few flights and even added 1,000 extra flights to its roster for July and August.

Ryanair has cancelled relatively few flights and even added 1,000 extra flights to its roster for July and August (Photo by Michal Fludra/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

“While BA, easyJet & TUI cancel thousands of flights across the UK causing travel disruption for U.K. families, Ryanair continues to operate a full schedule with over 15,000 weekly flights,” crowed Ryanair’s marketing and digital director Dara Brady.

Related: Did easyJet cancel your flight? You’re entitled to a new flight regardless of airline or cost

He added: “U.K. families can now rest easy in the knowledge that Ryanair will fly them to/from their summer holiday destination to enjoy some well-deserved time off with friends and family.”

The new “low fare” routes include:

  • Birmingham to Lanzarote
  • Bristol to Ibiza
  • Edinburgh to Gran Canaria
  • Glasgow to Malaga
  • Manchester to Malta
  • London Stansted to Alicante

Brady said the flights are available to book on the Ryanair website from now until midnight on Thursday, 23 June.

Related: Heathrow’s ‘baggage mountain’ affects 15,000 passengers

And while some other airlines continue to cancel flights, Ryanair is already looking forward to winter.

Earlier this month the company announced its “biggest ever UK Winter schedule” with 13 new routes to destinations including Barcelona, Rome, Turin, Lanzarote and Gran Canaria, bringing Ryanair’s total winter 2022/23 routes to/from the UK to 449, the company said.

Walkout woes

However, it may not be perfectly plain sailing for Ryanair this summer. Its passengers may yet suffer disruptions if its cabin crew follow through with threats to strike in France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Belgium.

According to various national unions, Ryanair staff are planning to walk out in Belgium and Portugal from 24 to 26 June, France from 25 to 26 June and Italy on 25 June. Meanwhile, staff in Spain are expected to strike on 24, 25, 26, and 30 June, and 1 and 2 July.

The disputes in all five countries are over pay and working conditions. CEO Michael O’Leary has dismissed union accusations as “complete rubbish”.

Photo by Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto via Getty Images.

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