Could this simple HR solution have prevented the 20,000 flights cancellation at Ryan Air?

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Could this simple HR solution have helped to prevent the 20,000 flights cancellation at Ryan Air?

I’m sure we all remember the recent crisis the afflicted Ryan Air, the largest budget airline in Europe, where over 20,000 flights were cancelled due to the mishap in vacation scheduling for its pilots. As a result, the company not only faced backlash from its customers but also its pilots with whom the company is now intensively negotiating with to improve their pay and working conditions as a peace offering.

This begs the question “ Would having in place a comprehensive and reliable Human Resource Management System (HRMS) have helped prevent the entire flight cancellation debacle?”

Surely a large company like Ryan Air would have a HR solution like a HRMS in place, however, what puts a “yeah it is alright” HRMS apart from a great HRMS that works for MNCs like Ryan Air?


Firstly, a great HR solution consist of a robust and integrated Human Resource management system (HRMS), a well implemented human resource processes and a good communication and feedback process and system.

An integrated HRMS should provide not only the operational HR and payroll software, but a robust absence management (Leave management) system integrated with a rostering system (normally part of the Time management system). As Ryan Air employs staff on a large scale, an additional intelligent scheduling system with intelligence rostering and alert features are probably required to highlight the “what if” scenarios.

Even though in Ryan Air had backup resources, these resources would be redundant if backup resources are not available when required, therefore, having a great HRMS with a time management system aids in such situations in which accurate manpower planning is required.


Secondly, this is an area that artificial intelligence (AI) software and system can be used to provide better scenario planning that can alert the planners and management of the potential problems. With the right algorithms AI can perhaps do a better job than human given such a complex issue with so many variables.


Lastly, an open communication process can help to reduce some of these problems as grievances can be tackled before they become a big problem. Feedback and survey modules in a robust HRMS can also help to improve the communication between the employees and the management and strengthening the relationship as a result.


In summary, HR solution can play a vital role in helping the company as human resources is a critical factor in how well a business perform. In some businesses, it can be make a difference between success and failure. The HR management team should take this challenge and look at implementing an integrated human capital management as a tool together with strong HR processes to prevent future crisis from happening.


The iqDynamics group consist of companies that specializes in providing integrated human capital management software, cloud hosting and IT services and HR services such as payroll and HR processing and advisory services.

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