A total of 97% of Ryanair passengers affected by 18,000 planned winter flight cancellations have been refunded or offered alternative flights.

The detail emerged as the Irish budget carrier issued an update on its progress on the schedule change of 2% of its 800,000 flights between November and March.

The final remaining customers were urged to make contact as soon as possible.

The airline added that more than 313,000 refunds or re-routings covering 99.4% of passengers affected in September and October have been processed, with the remaining 2,000 yet to contact the airline.

More than 384,000 refunds or re-routings or 96% of the total, have been processed for schedule changes between November and March. The remaining 16,000 (4%) have yet to contact Ryanair

The carrier added: “Like other airlines, Ryanair was badly affected by another unjustified French air traffic control strike on 10 October.

“But, over the last seven days, Ryanair’s first wave punctuality has remained extremely high at 95% on-time (98% excluding Tuesday 10th).

“Out of 15,000 flights operated last week, only eight flights – in addition to the 344 French ATC strike cancellations – were cancelled, and all of these were due to adverse weather conditions.

Chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs, said: “We have now processed 96% of refunds or re-routing requests from customers affected by our winter schedule changes and we urge the remaining 16,000 customers to contact us as soon as possible to finalise their arrangements.

“We once again apologise to all customers affected by these cancellations and winter schedule changes.

“These painful and deeply regretted winter schedule reductions have restored our industry leading punctuality with 95% of our first wave flights departing on-time last week – 98% excluding Tuesday, which was badly affected by the unjustified French ATC strike – which means customers can now book our low fare flights confident that there is no danger of further roster related flight cancellations.”