European low-cost giant Ryanair has today announced it will not bring back 250 of its staff when it reopens its offices in June. Office facilities in Dublin, Stansted, Madrid and Wroclaw are slated to open on June 1st, but the affected workers will be asked not to return.
Redundancies across four major airports
Ryanair has revealed today that it will not bring back 250 of its support staff when its offices reopen on June 1st. In a statement sent to Simple Flying, the airline’s People Director Darrell Hughes said,
“This is a very painful time for Ryanair, our crews and our people supporting operations from our Dublin, Stansted, Madrid and Wroclaw offices. While we expect to re-open our offices from June 1st next, we will not require the same number of support team members in a year when we will carry less than 100m passengers, against an original budget of 155m.
“Regrettably, we will now have a small number of compulsory redundancies in Dublin, Stansted, Madrid and Wroclaw to right size our support teams for a year when we will carry less than 100m passengers due to the Covid-19 crisis. These job losses were communicated to individual team members this week, and they will not be returning to work in our Dublin, Stansted, Madrid or Wroclaw offices when they reopen on June 1st next.”
The jobs will be cut with a combination of contract ends for fixed-term and probation workers, as well as voluntary resignations and redundancies. This comes as the airline plans to restore 1,000 flights a day from July 1st, returning its network to 90% of its previous size.
Although the network will reach many of the previous Ryanair destinations, the capacity will remain low for the short-term, at least. The fleet will be operating at around 40% of its usual capacity, with travel restrictions and low demand still making it difficult for airlines.
Pilots and cabin crew will be next
Although today’s job losses involve only office staff, the company has not ruled out making cuts to its workforce of pilots and cabin crew too. Earlier this month, it said it was looking to trim its workforce by as many as 3,000 workers. Today’s statement suggests that this is still the plan. Hughes said,
“We are continuing to meet our pilot and cabin crew unions across Europe to finalise up to 3,000 job cuts and 20% pay cuts as we return to approx. 40% of our normal flight schedules from July onwards. Ryanair is also facing intense price competition across Europe as we are forced to compete with flag carrier airlines who have received over €30bn in unlawful State Aid subsidies from their Governments, and who will be able to engage in below low cost selling for many years with the benefit of this illegal State Aid.
“Further announcements on Ryanair crew job losses and pay cuts are expected before the end of May in the light of further and on-going flight restrictions.”
Ryanair has made no secret of its dislike of European airline bailouts. Although the airline itself has not applied for any support, it says it doesn’t need to because it was financially strong going into the crisis. It believes it is unfair that those airlines with less robust bank balances are receiving millions, sometimes billions, in state aid, while Ryanair gets nothing.
It’s not alone in its worries. Earlier this week, Spain raised its own concerns over unilateral state aid being doled out to airlines, calling for a more joined-up approach to ensure a level playing field.