31 July, 2019

Ryanair warns that 900 jobs are at risk at the budget airline

900 jobs are at risk at the low-fare-high-fee carrier Ryanair as it tries to cut costs, paying higher fuel prices, faces Brexit and copes with the aftermath of the Boeing 737 Max groundings.

The outspoken and bullying boss Michael O'Leary made the grim warning to staff in a video saying that the airline had too many pilots and cabin crew. O'Leary said that redundancies would be announced by the end of August.

In the video to staff, leaked to the media on Wednesday, he told staff "I'm sorry to advise you that this means we need to cut our aircraft numbers and our staffing, not just for summer 2020 but also in winter 2019.

"This will result in some base cuts, some base closures, and I'm very sorry to say, some job losses this winter for pilots and cabin crew, at the end of our summer schedule in September and October, and also some immediately after Christmas."

Not a fan of Brexit, despite having made plans for a no-deal result, O'Leary said "We're worried this could have quite a damaging effect, particularly on our UK bases and on some of our Irish bases, which are heavily dependent on people travelling between Ireland and the UK."

The flight cuts to the summer schedule next year has been firmly blamed on the grounding of the unairworthy Boeing 737 Max aircraft, which Ryanair is one of the biggest European customers. The airline has delayed the delivery of around 28 737 Max aircraft while Boeing tries to work out a fix to make the craft airworthy, following two fatal crashes. 

The video warning to staff came on the back of the carrier's latest figures revealed a 21% fall in profits for the three months to the end of June. 

Unions representing staff are said to be 'concerned' over the video and expected the true number of job losses at the budget carrier could be much higher. Many have also questioned why senior board members have continued to take their bonuses. 

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