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Ryanair tells pilots ‘take unpaid leave or move if you want to avoid Thomas Cook-style job losses’

Ryanair tells pilots ‘take unpaid leave or move if you want to avoid Thomas Cook-style job losses’

Ryanair has doubled down on a veiled threat to cut jobs, by bringing in bankrupt Thomas Cook into an internal spat. The airline is urging its pilots to go on unpaid leave or transfer to other bases to avoid redundancies of the kind that have resulted from the travel firm’s collapse.

Ryanair – at loggerheads with its pilots over pay and benefits – wrote to pilots in a number of airports across Europe including Stansted, Manchester and Dublin on Tuesday, encouraging them to take unpaid leave lasting up to 12 months, or to apply for a job in a base with vacancies.

Last week, Michael O’Leary, Ryanair’s chief executive, told investors the airline planned to cut between 500 and 700 pilot jobs, adding that it will move from voluntary to compulsory redundancies “very quickly”.

Tuesday’s memos, sent by Ryanair’s director of flight operations Neal McMahon, said the respective airports have a surplus of pilots. Some of the notes also said the surplus must be reduced this winter due to delays with the delivery of Boeing Max aircraft. The Boeing 737 Max remains grounded worldwide after two fatal accidents.

The latest move by Ryanair’s bosses is likely to fuel tensions with the staff who keep its planes flying.

On Friday, when the British Airline Pilots’ Association called off five further days of strikes at the airline, it said: “The relationship between Ryanair and its pilots in the UK and elsewhere remains acrimonious.”

Story courtesy of Independent

 

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