Ryanair union voices 'concern' over potential job cuts

Ryanair trade union Fórsa said it is concerned about the prospects the airline will cut jobs but said it had yet to be informed of specific details.

Ryanair union voices 'concern' over potential job cuts

- with reporting from Conor Humphries

Ryanair trade union Fórsa said it is concerned about the prospects the airline will cut jobs but said it had yet to be informed of specific details.

It comes as Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary told staff in a video message the airline has 500 more pilots and 400 more cabin crew than needed, and job losses will be announced in the coming weeks.

The comments come less than two years after the airline was forced to cancel hundreds of flights, due in part to a shortage of pilots.

The company had flagged job losses this week when it reported a sharp fall in profits and said last month that it was halving growth plans due to delays in deliveries of Boeing’s grounded 737 Max jet.

“We hope to preserve as many jobs as we can, but we have to respond now and we have to respond quickly to the Max aircraft delivery delays and to the threat of a no-deal Brexit at the end of October,” Mr O’Leary said in the video.

He said job cuts would take place at around the end of September and again after Christmas.

Ryanair pilots in Britain and Ireland are holding a ballot over potential industrial action and some union officials, who declined to be identified, said Mr O’Leary was trying to deter them from voting to strike.

They said a hiring agency that worked with Ryanair was still advertising for flight staff and that the airline had recently launched a pilot training programme in central Europe.

“Today’s development is obviously of concern to Ryanair staff, including Fórsa members,” Fórsa trade union said in a statement.

At this point the union has no specific information about the routes or bases that may be affected. Fórsa is watching the situation closely, and has told the airline’s management that it expects to be consulted on any measures that could impact on the jobs, incomes or working conditions of union members.

Shares in Ryanair and other airlines have been buffeted by tough competition and by the worldwide grounding of the Max 737 following fatal crashes.

Ryanair shares rose almost 2%, despite the emergence of the video message. They have, however, dropped 31% in the past year. Shares in IAG, which owns Aer Lingus, BA, Iberia, and Vueling, have dropped by the same amount.

- Irish Examiner and Reuters staff

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