Monday 23 April 2018

Ryanair pilots in Dublin join colleagues in rejecting pay and bonus proposals

Michael O'Leary
Michael O'Leary
Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary Photo: Colin Keegan
Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary
Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary Newsdesk Newsdesk

Ryanair pilots based in Dublin are reported to have joined their colleagues in rejecting a pay deal offered by the company in a bid to get them to work on days off.

Pilots at more than 40 other bases have rejected the airline's proposals for pay increases and bonuses in exchange for giving up annual leave to alleviate the staffing crisis.

The offer comes amid an ongoing crisis which has seen hundreds of flights cancelled at short notice due to rostering issues.

Ryanair has offered its captains €12,000 to work the extra days, and first officers have been offered €6,000.

Earlier today Michael O'Leary confirmed that pilots at bases including Dublin, Berlin and Frankfurt are among those who have been offered an extra €10,000 unconditional base allowance in order to cement their loyalty to the airline.

RTE is reporting that the company's bases in Dublin, Barcelona and Shannon are the latest to reject the offer.

Speaking today at the company's AGM, CEO Mr O'Leary, said that the budget airline expects to recruit and train almost 600 pilots between now and the end of May or June next year.

Speaking to media at the Ryanair HQ in Dublin on Thursday morning, Mr O'Leary said their plan for pilot recruitment has already been mapped out.

However, he admitted that there was "an area of concern" in Dublin. "If Norwegian Air are holding open days, there's nothing we can do, despite the fact that we have very good terms and conditions."

He added: "If you have captains on the 737s who are in their early 30s and single, [and asked] to fly long haul with Norwegian out of Dublin for six or 12 months, there is a risk that we may lose some pilots to Norwegian."

"But that's already factored into our pilot recruitment numbers," he said.

Mr O'Leary also said that if there was a "blu flu" amongst the pilots, "the ERC wouldn't get a meeting for 16 months".

"You can kiss goodbye to any increase pay or base adjustments," he said.

Asked whether this was a threat to pilots, Michael O'Leary responded: "Absolutely not. Perish the thought. We would never threaten our pilots".

"We have some goodies to discuss with pilots, but if pilots misbehave, that would be the end of the discussion of the goodies. I don't think that could be construed as a threat.

"If you want to discuss additional pay and bases, come talk to us. But if you want to come talk to us, I wouldn't start off that discussion, I wouldn't start off by having a 'blu flu' or other forms of imaginary industrial action."

Earlier today, learned that pilots at 33 Ryanair bases across Europe have now demanded improved working and employment conditions from the airline's management.

Ryanair has 87 bases.

The latest development heaps pressure on chief executive Michael O'Leary as he deals with a flights fiasco that has caused chaos for hundreds of thousands of passengers.

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