Page last updated at 09:23 GMT, Wednesday, 10 September 2008 10:23 UK

Ryanair cancels Edinburgh flights

Ryanair aircraft
Flights had been due to start on 11 new routes

Low-cost airline Ryanair has been forced to cancel flights from its new Edinburgh base for the next six weeks because of strike action at Boeing.

Ryanair said the strike meant US aircraft manufacturers Boeing was unable to deliver two 737 planes it purchased to operate on the new routes.

Passengers booked to fly from Edinburgh on any of 11 new routes will be given a refund.

Ryanair said it now hoped to start flying from Edinburgh on 5 November.

Robert Hendry, 40, an Edinburgh computer programmer who was due to fly to Berlin on 26 September to take part in the Berlin Marathon, said: "It's just typical of Ryanair, blaming someone else and offering no assistance in making alternative arrangements."

Pete Burbanks
The worse thing about it was that Ryanair just sent me the e-mail telling me the flight was cancelled but they didn't offer any alternatives whatsoever
Pete Burbanks
Ryanair passenger

Pete Burbanks, 41, an Edinburgh business analyst who is also taking part in the marathon, said he was left in a "nightmare" situation trying to arrange transport to Berlin.

"I'm ending up trying to get transport two and a half weeks before the marathon," he said. "I've been training for four months now and all of a sudden I'm scrabbling around for other flights or trains even.

"The worse thing about it was that Ryanair just sent me the e-mail telling me the flight was cancelled but they didn't offer any alternatives whatsoever. It's just not good enough".

Deputy chief executive, Michael Cawley, expressed his "sincere regret" at the postponement to the opening of the new base.

He added: "Unfortunately the two new aircraft, which we had reserved for this purpose, are now indefinitely delayed due to a strike by Boeing employees.

"However, due to increased aircraft available in our fleet from early November, we will be able to operate these exciting new Edinburgh routes from 5th November."

Spare parts

Passengers who were booked to travel on the new routes during the initial six-week period will be refunded over the next seven days, according to Ryanair.

Eleven routes from Edinburgh are affected, including flights to Malaga, Bournemouth, Palma and Krakow.

Mr Cawley added: "We sincerely apologise to all our passengers for the inconvenience caused by this forced change to our schedule."

The strike by almost 27,000 Boeing machinists started on Saturday.

A statement released by Boeing on Friday said: "The company will continue delivering aeroplanes that were completed prior to the strike, and will continue providing customers with spare parts.

"Boeing does not intend to assemble aeroplanes during the strike."

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