Ryanair has invested €50 million in a new aviation training centre in Dublin. The airline said it intends to use the centre to train more than 5,000 new pilots, cabin crew, engineers and ground operations staff across Europe over the next five years.
Ryanair chief executive Eddie Wilson said he hoped a large number of those new jobs would be created locally.
The new centre, which is to be managed by the Airline Flight Academy, is situated in Santry, close to Dublin Airport. It contains three full-motion simulators – one 737 MAX and two Airbus A320 – together with two fixed-base simulators for the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320.
The centre also has cabin crew training and emergency evacuation device training, as well as a specialist cabin fire-training centre.
The airline has similar training centres open in east midlands in England, Bergamo in Italy, and Krakow in Poland. Pilots typically pay up to €30,000 to learn to train at the facilities.
Ryanair said the Airbus simulators at the new training centre would be used for staff at its Lauda Air subsidiary.
The airline is predicting that passenger numbers will more than double to 200 million a year by 2025, after the addition of 210 Boeing 737 Max aircraft. Ryanair is taking delivery of 60 of these in 2021.
The carrier currently forecasts 2021 passenger numbers at 100 million. Business is “recovering strongly in a lot of countries”, Mr Wilson said. “We’re recovering and are probably the only airline that is growing at scale.”
Mr Wilson said more steps needed to be taken to ensure travel returns to normal in the Republic, warning again taking connectivity for granted.
Also speaking at the announcement, Tánaiste and Minister for Business Leo Varadkar said the news was a "real vote of confidence in the airline industry as it rebuilds after the pandemic".