Senior Ryanair executive quits over cancellations

Mr Hickey, who has been at the budget carrier for nearly 30 years, will leave at the end of the month.

Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary said in a statement: 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.

:: Ryanair cancellations: Your rights

Mr Hickey was in charge of pilot rotas when the disruptions began last month and did not have enough standby pilots to ensure the airline could operate properly, leading to the cancellation of more than 2,000 flights.

More than 700,000 passengers’ travel plans have been affected, but Ryanair has said 98% of customers hit by flight cancellations in September and October have been refunded or offered alternative transport.

Last week, the firm confirmed it was suspending 34 of its routes over the November-March winter season to prevent any further mass cancellations.

The cancellations infuriated passengers and sparked a wave of bad publicity for the Irish airline, the largest in Europe by passenger numbers.

Mr O’Leary has apologised to passengers for the mess and told Ryanair’s annual shareholder meeting last month he took personal responsibility for the cock up .

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