Thursday, 15 October 2020

Ryanair announce more job losses and dramatically reduces winter schedule

The budget carrier Ryanair has advised it will slash is winter schedules by around 60% as it struggles to cope with lower demand and travel restrictions. 

The airline confirmed it will be closing its bases in Cork, Shannon, and Toulouse for the winter, but says it expects to keep 65% of routes active, but with a much-reduced frequency.  "With this greatly reduced winter capacity and load factors of approximately 70%, Ryanair now expects full-year traffic to fall to approximately 38 million guests, although this guidance could be further revised downwards if EU governments continue to mismanage air travel and impose more lockdowns this winter," the airline said.

 Michael O'Leary, the group chief executive said the airline deeply regretted the schedule cuts, which he claims have been forced on the airline by "government mismanagement of EU air travel".  

O'Leary said: "It is inevitable, given the scale of these cutbacks, that we will be implementing more unpaid leave, and job sharing this winter in those bases where we have agreed reduced working time and pay, but this is a better short-term outcome than mass job losses.

"There will regrettably be more redundancies at those small number of cabin crew bases, where we have still not secured agreement on working time and pay cuts, which is the only alternative.

"We continue to actively manage our cost base to be prepared for the inevitable rebound and recovery of short haul air travel in Europe once an effective Covid-19 vaccine is developed."

Meanwhile,  the airline expects the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft will get the green light from the authorities in the U.S. in the next month, and then it will be taking delivery of new aircraft early next year, according to Eddie Wilson.  "The first of those we would hope to arrive in very early 2021," Wilson told Ireland's Newstalk Radio. 

Even if the type gets approval from the U.S regulator - the FAA, there is no guarantee the plane will be allowed to fly in Europe. In a change to previous models, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency has confirmed this time that clearance by the FAA will not automatically mean the plane is considered airworthy in Europe. The EASA has started its own testing programme last month, with various issues being found already in the flawed designed aircraft. 

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