Ryanair boss warns of hundreds of job cuts because the airline has too many pilots and crew

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Michael O’Leary, CEO, Ryanair (c) World Travel & Tourism Council

Ryanair CEO, Michael O’Leary, told his workforce in a video message that the airline has too many pilots and crew and warned of job losses.

In the video O’Leary said the airline has an excess of more than 500 pilots and 400 cabin crew. On top of that, that it would need 600 fewer cabin crew by summer 2020.


Michael O’Leary blamed the “increasing likelihood of a no-deal Brexit in just 12 weeks’ time”, falling profits and fewer flights scheduled for next summer. He added that expansion plans for Dublin-based budget airline would be slowed dramatically following the grounding of the beleaguered Boeing 737 Max.

It’s believed that out of the 16,000-strong workforce 1,500 jobs are at risk and jobs would be lost in September and October and after Christmas.

He said:

“It’s been a challenging summer, we’re facing a very difficult winter.

“I’m sorry to advise you that this means we need to cut our aircraft numbers and our staffing, not just for summer 2020 but also in winter 2019.

“This will result in some base cuts, some base closures, and I’m very sorry to say, some job losses this winter for pilots and cabin crew, at the end of our summer schedule in September and October, and also some immediately after Christmas.

“The prospect of a no-deal Brexit could have quite a damaging effect, particularly on our UK bases and on some of our Irish bases, which are heavily dependent on people travelling between Ireland and the UK.”

No figures have been published yet and O’Leary said the official number of jobs to be cut would be known by the end of August after the airline had a chance to enter into negotiations with airports and unions.

He was apologetic and said the airline would do all it could to minimise job losses and would work with unions ahead of the announcement next month.

O’Leary has also agreed to reduce his pay and maximum annual bonus by half as part of a new five-year contract with the company.

In a nutshell…

  • Ryanair boasts that they transport 153 million annual customers, and operates 2,400 flights per day.
  • This week the budget airline reported a 21 per cent drop in quarterly profits blaming lower fares and higher staffing costs for the decline. 
  • The slowing down of the expansion plans was blamed on the grounding of the Boeing 737 Max plane after two terrible tragedies in Ethiopia and Indonesia that claimed the life of 346 people.
  • The airline should have had dozens operational now and has ordered 58 Boeing Max 200 – a variant of the 737 – for summer 2020 but says they cannot offer the number of flights they were hoping to be able to offer.
  • The irony is that in September 2017 Ryanair had to cancel thousands of flights because it hadn’t allocated enough pilots. 
  • In 2016, Ryanair was confirmed as the largest European budget airline by scheduled passengers flown, and carried more international passengers than any other airline.





By The Travel Magazine

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