How you can avoid a Ryanair style holiday mess-up

Ryanair has hit the headlines this week after announcing that they’re having to cancel 40-50 flights a day for the next six weeks, after a “mess-up” with their pilot’s rostering. Whilst the exact details are unclear, it appears that a change in their holiday year has resulted in a backlog of leave to be taken and too many pilots’ taking leave at the same time. This has significantly reduced the number of pilot’s that are available on standby in case of emergencies – something that all airlines must have in place for safety and to allow flights to run to schedule.

Whilst Ryanair is arguing that less than 2% of their schedule is being canceled, it has a knock-on impact for over 400,000 customers. And, it could face Ryanair with compensation claims of over €20 million. A somewhat costly error for the company…!

Moreover, this is an error that could easily have been avoided, had Ryanair been using a comprehensive workforce management system to manage their rosters and holiday bookings. These systems allow companies to clearly see what their staffing requirements are for any given shift, week or month, how many people can be on holiday at any one time, and help to manage the leave bookings so that a minimum staffing level is always achieved.

We’re proud that our Intelligent Time, Intelligent Self Service and Intelligent Scheduling tools not only feature this functionality but also have the ability to work in collaboration with each other, ensuring that all of your staffing requirements are met.

Our team of experts can help to calculate the number of staff you need to have on leave each day to ensure all leave can be taken. Then set these levels within the system to ensure only have the right number of employees on leave each day ensuring all leave can be taken thus avoiding situations like this.


For more information and to find out how Capita WFM can help your business, email the team on