Belfast Telegraph

Ryanair cancellations: Warning to Green and White Army travelling to Northern Ireland Norway game

Gary McAllister, chair of the Amalgamation of Northern Ireland Supporters Clubs
Gary McAllister, chair of the Amalgamation of Northern Ireland Supporters Clubs
Jonathan Bell

By Jonathan Bell

Northern Ireland fans could be caught up in the Ryanair flight cancellations fiasco for the trip to the World Cup qualifier against Norway.

The IFA has sold 2,069 tickets for the game and had unsuccessfully applied for more for the travelling support for the October 8 tie.

However, one flight from London Stansted to Oslo has been cancelled by Ryanair which could have been booked by some of the Green and White Army rank and file for the game.

Gary McAllister, chair of the Amalgamation of Official Northern Ireland Supporters' Clubs, said that while he has not heard if anyone has been affected he urged all travelling fans to double-check their arrangements.

He told the Belfast Telegraph: "This is one of the routes fans could have booked for getting to the games so there are some out there that could be affected.

"They should check their emails, see if they have been notified, if they need to make new arrangements and know what their rights are."

"It should be a good game, the team are riding on the crest of a wave. Hopefully no one misses out."

Northern Ireland sit second in Group C of the qualifiers five points off Germany and nine above Azerbaijan and are almost certain of a spot in the play-offs.

Ryanair has had to apologise to some 400,000 customers after it said it "messed" up annual holiday leave for its pilots. It has said it will work to try and accommodate all those customers affected with alternative arrangements. It has been reported that it has offered pilots a £12,000 incentive for pilots to help provide cover.

Up to 50 flights a day are affected and the airline has set aside millions for compensation.

DUP MP Paul Girvan, a Member of the House of Commons Transport Select Committee, has called for Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary to be brought before the committee to answer questions over how and why the current fiasco facing passengers has happened.

The South Antrim DUP MP said: "The last few days has been disastrous for the thousands of people who use Ryanair for business and leisure flights. This is a serious failing on Ryanair’s behalf and consumer confidence in the company is in rapid descent towards rock bottom.

"It is vitally important that we get to the truth of why this situation has been allowed to happen. Avoiding it ever happening again must be the priority. We must also have the swift payment of compensation and all necessary support to affected customers in place. Thus far I am not filled with confidence that the support required has been put in place by Ryanair."

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