Ryanair accepts labour agreement proposal for Irish pilots

Pilot union Fórsa has yet to back the proposed new pay structure and fixed roster

Ryanair has accepted a proposed collective labour agreement which covers all of its directly employed pilots in Ireland out to 2024 but its pilots have yet to back the deal.

The budget airline said in a stock market update that it accepted the recommendations of independent mediator Kieran Mulvey before Christmas.

But pilot union Fórsa said it is continuing to advise the Ryanair pilot representatives within its membership, “who are giving consideration to Kieran Mulvey’s recommendations”.

Under the proposals a new pay structure would be delivered to pilots along with a new fixed roster.


News of the proposal comes after Ryanair on Tuesday warned staff it may have to cut more jobs and close bases because the delivery date for its first 10 Boeing 737 Max jets has slipped into the autumn.

The airline had originally planned to fly 58 of the jets this summer but has gradually cut that number since the Max was grounded after two fatal crashes and Boeing struggled to secure approval for its re-entry to service.

Ryanair last July announced it had 500 more pilots more than it needed, in part due to Max delays, but it has not announced how many jobs it has cut to date. The airline last year had around 5,500 pilots for a fleet of 475 aircraft, according to the company’s annual report.

Job losses

Boeing said last week it did not expect the Max to return to service until mid-2020 and, given Ryanair does not take deliveries during its summer peak between June and August, it will not have the first 10 Max planes until the autumn.

In a memo dated January 27th, the low-cost airline said Boeing would not now deliver the first of the grounded model until September or October at the earliest. As a result it will have to cut 10 aircraft from its summer roster, which could result in job losses for pilots and cabin crew, as well as possible base closures.

"I have asked our commercial team to work up their proposals for these 10 aircraft reductions in summer 2020, and I hope to have their final recommendations over the next week," chief executive Eddie Wilson said in the memo.

“We will do our best to avoid any more base closures, but this will mean eliminating at least 10 aircraft from existing bases, and so further pilot and cabin crew jobs losses cannot be ruled out.” – Additional reporting: Reuters

Peter Hamilton

Peter Hamilton

Peter Hamilton is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in business