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Ryanair boss 'apologises to pilots and offers better pay and working conditions' after axed flights controversy

The travel plans of 700,000 passengers have been affected by the cancellations. Credit: PA

The boss of Ryanair is thought to have apologised to the airline's pilots, reportedly offering them bonuses and "a brighter, better future for you and your family" if they stay with the carrier in a personal letter.

Michael O'Leary is said to have asked pilots not to move to rival airlines, promising pay increases, a "productivity/loyalty bonus" and "significant improvements" to contracts and career progression.

The letter follows the cancellation of tens of thousands of flights from September 2017 to March 2018 due to errors in pilot holiday rostering, disrupting the travel plans of 700,000 passengers.

The budget airline has insisted that its latest cancellation of 18,000 flights will "eliminate all risk of further flight cancellations", with the CEO previously stating Ryanair was "not short of pilots".

Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary has promised his pilots better working conditions. Credit: PA

In the letter, published by TheJournal.ie, Mr O'Leary urges pilots not to forsakeRyanair for "less financially secure/or Brexit challenged airlines".

Under a section entitled "Learning from this mistake", Mr O'Leary promises "significant changes to, and investment in, our rostering and pilot career development" over the next six months.

He also pledges to pay pilots more than Ryanair's competitors, as well as a bonus of £10,700 to dissuade them from moving elsewhere.

Towards the end of the letter he writes: "If you have or are considering joining one of these less financially secure/or Brexit challenged airlines, I urge you to stay with Ryanair for a brighter, better future for you and your family."