Frankfurt and Madrid set to land Ryanair jobs following Hangar Six debacle
Published 09/03/2010 | 15:04
Ryanair is finalising talks with two mainland European airports over the creation of 300 jobs after a controversial bid to site them in Ireland failed, it has been revealed.
The no-frills airline is expecting to seal a deal on a new maintenance facility at one of their existing bases in Frankfurt, Madrid or Milan within two months.
Contentious proposals to take over hangar six at Dublin Airport foundered after rival Aer Lingus refused to vacate the premises for which it has a lease from Dublin Airport Authority (DAA).
The fall-out sparked a political storm at a time when Ireland is facing record joblessness while claims and counter-claims were made about Ryanair's motives for acquiring the hangar.
Ryanair spokesman Stephen McNamara confirmed the airline is pressing ahead with talks with two airports in mainland Europe to create 300 jobs at an overseas engineering facility.
"Unfortunately, it's closed off now from an Irish point of view," he said. "It's certainly going to be in continental Europe, it's unlikely to be in the UK at this stage."
Last month, Labour TD Tommy Broughan claimed in an Oireachtas transport committee that Ryanair chief Michael O'Leary had already made a decision to site the jobs in Germany. Appearing before the committee, the airline boss did not deny the claims but insisted they were also considering their other maintenance bases abroad.
Ryanair originally insisted it would create 500 well-paid engineering jobs in Dublin if it was granted hangar six, but later created 200 jobs at Prestwick Airport, near Glasgow.
Mr McNamara said the second European maintenance facility would be up and running by October.
"The refusal to sell or lease hangar six to Ryanair in 2009 proves that this government prefers to protect the DAA monopoly who subsequently allowed Aer Lingus to move into the facility, an airline with no heavy maintenance in Ireland and no use for such a large hangar, and which is cutting up to 900 jobs," he said.