Pilot unions' day 'is largely dead' - Michael O'Leary
Pilot unions across Europe are a "busted flush" who "preside over the death of many of the flag carrier airlines," Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary has claimed. Speaking to investors yesterday, he said that the airline union activity around Europe is a "load of b****x".
He warned that Ryanair would have "no compunction" about moving aircraft out of a German base it the carrier got a "lot of gyp" from pilots.
"We will continue to deal directly with all of our pilots," said Mr O'Leary. "We have five-year pay and condition deals already agreed with those 84 bases." He claimed that airline unions are a "mob whose day is largely dead".
Ryanair's annual report notes that pilots out of all of its bases are covered by four, five or six-year collective agreements on pay, allowances and rosters. At the end of March last year, Ryanair employed 11,500 - 3,424 of them pilots. That includes pilots both directly employed by the carrier, and those who work on sometimes controversial contracts.
Ryanair has expanded rapidly in Germany, building market share by flying out of airports including Frankfurt Main, where it opened a base last year. "If we got a lot of gyp from some pilots at a particular base in Germany, I'd have no compunction about closing the base and moving the aircraft out of there. If they don't want our jobs and our high pay, fine, we'll move the aircraft somewhere else," said Mr O'Leary.