Job Losses And Pay Cuts Possible At Ryanair Amid Current Climate

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Ryanair has touted the possibility of job losses and pay cuts. The news, aimed at Irish pilots, comes as the low-cost carrier has had to ground almost all of its fleet. However, it seems as though extreme measures will only be on the cards from the start of June onwards.

Ryanair, Job Losses, Pay Cuts
Ryanair could have to consider job cuts if the current crisis extends beyond May. Photo: Ryanair

Ryanair has been greatly affected the current global aviation crisis. A little over a month ago the airline’s boss told Simple Flying he expected the current crisis to pass by Easter. However, since then it has developed in ways nobody would’ve imagined.

The current situation

In a memo seen by Simple Flying the airline’s Director of Operations, Neil McMahon, discussed the issues facing Ryanair. He commented that “We do not intend to layoff any of our Irish based Pilots in April or May”.

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Until the end of May, Irish pilots will continue to be paid based on their net earnings for the months of January and February. This will be a mixture of money from both Ryanair, Irish Government support.

However, while the pilots are guaranteed their pay for April and May, it will only be at ‘50% of their gross monthly basic salary’. In addition, they will receive their standard block hour rates for any flying completed.

Ryanair, Ghost Flights, Empty Flights
Ryanair grounded most of its flights as a result of the current crisis. Photo: Getty Images

So what about job cuts?

While Irish Ryanair pilots are guaranteed to be paid in April and May, the situation begins to get a bit less concrete moving into June. In the memo, McMahon mentioned that the airline’s priority was to protect as many jobs as possible, adding that in order to do this “Senior Management have taken a 50% pay cut for April and May while still working full time”.

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However, the problems begin if this crisis continues on into the summer. McMahon wrote:

“Beyond May 31st we still have no certainty on a return to service date and cannot rule out further measures to protect the long-term viability of our operation in Ireland such as extended lay-offs and/or job losses”.

Ryanair, Michael O'Leary, Coronavirus
Ryanair’s CEO had thought that things would get better by Easter. Photo: Getty Images

What’s next?

Currently, Ryanair has grounded around 99% of its flights for April and May. The airline has taken the decision to not run empty flights and is only operating a number of essential routes.

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However, some pilots are still flying as the Irish airline is operating ghost flights in order to keep its aircraft and pilots airworthy and current. Only time will tell how long the current situation will last. However, we sure do hope that it doesn’t drag on for ages. Airlines like Austrian have already predicted traffic won’t return to normal until 2023.

What do you make of the prospect of job losses? Will it really happen, or will the situation improve? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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