Business Irish

Saturday 17 March 2018

Ryanair pilots push for talks with O'Leary

Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary
Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

A group that claims to represent more than half of Ryanair pilots is pressurising Michael O'Leary to engage in talks on issues ranging from contracts to annual leave.

Ryanair Pilot Group (RPG), at its first press conference yesterday, called for a common basic contract for all pilots at the airline .

Other concerns include the annual leave system, base transfers and reinstatement of colleagues disciplined because of the request for representation, according to a document provided by the group.

"We will be very happy to agree a mutually convenient time and location to open discussions on behalf of the majority of pilots flying for Ryanair," Evert van Zwol, RPG's interim council chairman, said in a letter to Mr O'Leary. According to the group, the CEO said he'll agree to meet representatives if members exceeded 1,601 staff.

Mr O'Leary had dismissed the RPG, noting that its interim council includes members who do not work for Ryanair. Mr van Zwol is a pilot with KLM.


Ryanair pilots work 36 hours to 42 hours each week. Trainee first officers are also required to pay €28,500 up front for training when they join the airline, according to the organisation.

Also present at yesterday's press conference was former Ryanair pilot John Goss. He was fired by Ryanair in August after he appeared in a Channel 4 'Dispatches' documentary that questioned the airline's safety and fuel policy. He's being sued by the carrier, as is Channel 4 and the programme maker.

The Irish Aviation Authority slammed the Channel 4 documentary as a "misguided attack" based on "false and misleading information". (Additional reporting Bloomberg)

Irish Independent

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