Ryanair Announces New Base Despite Warning Of Job Cuts

Ryanair has today announced the opening of a new base in France. Toulouse is Ryanair’s answer to any suggestion that it is in difficulty, as CEO O’Leary praises the new base. However, in almost the same breath the company is warning there could be job cuts forthcoming too.

Ryanair Announces New Base Despite Warning Of Job Cuts
CEO Michael O’Leary celebrates the opening of the new base. Photo: Ryanair

The low-cost airline, headquartered in Dublin, today announced the launch of its third French base. This comes in contrast to an announcement earlier this year suggesting that bases would need to be cut due to the Boeing 737 MAX grounding.

The airline already has two other bases in France; one in Marseille and one in Bordeaux. Today, it opened its Toulouse base after it recently began a new route connecting the city and Luxembourg.

Spicing up the summer season

Ryanair, who will start the summer 2020 season with fewer aircraft than expected, has now launched 13 new routes alongside an existing 10 services from Toulouse. The carrier has two aircraft stationed at the base.

In a press release on its website, CEO Michael O’Leary commented on the success of the new opening, saying:

“We are also pleased to announce our biggest ever Toulouse S2020 schedule, with 23 routes, including 13 new routes to and from exciting cities such as Athens, Dublin, and Tangier.”

Tickets are now on sale for the new Toulouse routes from a starting price of €9.99, in celebration of the new base. These routes include a mixture of domestic French services as well as two locations in Morocco.

Ryanair is now offering the following services from its Toulouse hub:

  • Athens
  • Brest
  • Budapest
  • Dublin
  • Lille
  • Luxembourg
  • Marseille
  • Oujda
  • Palermo
  • Palma
  • Porto
  • Tangier
  • Valencia.

A bright future ahead?

According to Routes Online, the two new aircraft stationed at Toulouse are Boeing 737-800 aircraft, of which Ryanair now flies 418. The investment in the aircraft cost $200m, demonstrating Ryanair’s strength after experiencing a spike in profits.

Ryanair Announces New Base Despite Warning Of Job Cuts
Ryanair’s new 737 are part of a $200m investment. Photo: Ryanair

But more than its monetary success, Ryanair has also managed to deliver more than it had initially set out, back when it announced the plan for a Toulouse base in February this year.

In that release, it said that 11 new routes would be added – although it has now been able to add 13 – and also hoped to bring one million customers each year to Toulouse Airport. In its latest communication, the airline expects to be able to carry four million customers per annum to the airport as well as creating 1,000 on-site jobs – 250 more than it initially said it would.

Ryanair staff jobs

But Ryanair has gone silent on the number of jobs it will create for its own staff. In its February release, it said that it would create “60 Ryanair pilot and cabin crew jobs” although there was no mention of this figure in today’s address.

Ryanair Announces New Base Despite Warning Of Job Cuts
Ryanair looks set for mass job cuts. Photo: Ryanair

This absence of internal employment comes alongside the news that Ryanair has over 900 surplus staff. Just today, the airline has been publicly urging its pilots to move overseas or risk losing their job, according to The Guardian.

Ryanair has an excess of 500 pilots and 400 cabin crew.

The airline blames the lack of resignations for excess pilots on its books. They say that the MAX grounding has a lot to do with it too. Fewer flights means fewer pilots and cabin crew are needed to service them.

But with a new base open, perhaps some employees will make the escape to Toulouse, if not Ryanair’s other bases, in search of more career stability. Ryanair was expected to release redundancy figures in August, but it did not.

What are your thoughts on the opening of the Toulouse base? How do you think Ryanair will cope with its excess staff? Let us know in the comments.