Ryanair pilots in Belfast among 10 bases to vote for improved pay offer
Airline says it will pay Dublin-based captains basic pay of €84,650 from this month
Ryanair has not said how many of its 4,200 pilots have accepted new deals nor named all the bases that have agreed to them. Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA
The Irish carrier says it will spend €100 million a year on recruiting pilots and boosting their pay. However, those at one of its biggest bases, London Stansted, recently rejected an offer that Ryanair maintains will make them 20 per cent better off than counterparts at rivals such as easyJet.
Ryanair has not said how many of its 4,200 pilots have accepted new deals nor named all the bases that have agreed to them. The 10 are said to include those where the airline has small numbers of craft and pilots, including Belfast, Glasgow Prestwick and Bournemouth.
The company said it would not comment on the continuing talks with employee representative councils (ERCs), which represent pilots at each of its 87 bases.
The airline said in September that it would pay supplements of €10,000 a year to captains and €5,000 to first officers at its Dublin, Stansted, Frankfurt and Berlin bases, beginning in October.
Dublin pilots received the first monthly instalment of that in their October pay.
Former chief operations officer Michael Hickey and Diarmuid Rogers, head of flight operations, met the Dublin pilots’ ERC on September 20th to tell it of the payment.
There were no negotiations. An email from the council told pilots that “the company made the decision to implement the new additional allowance before the meeting”.
Mr Hickey and Mr Rogers met the council five days after Ryanair announced that a problem with pilots’ rosters had forced it to cancel flights.
The news prompted reports that the airline was losing pilots to rivals such as Norwegian Air International. Ryanair denied this and said yesterday it has recruited 900 pilots this year.
Some pilots argue that payments such as the base supplement should be in their basic pay.
Ryanair has committed to pay this only for the duration of current base agreements, many of which end in 2020. Consequently, pilots fear the airline could stop paying the supplements once those agreements end.
Ryanair’s figures, published again with its results yesterday, show that pilots’ basic pay is below that of rivals, but when other payments are added in, their total is higher.
From this month, the airline says it will pay Dublin-based captains a basic of €84,650 compared with the €92,400 paid to Norwegian Air International, which is recruiting pilots for a planned Dublin base.
Ryanair’s sector payments are higher, at €45,500, compared with €31,000 at Norwegian.
The Irish airline’s pilots receive €12,000 productivity, €6,000 expenses and €8,000 in pension contributions, for a total of €156,150 a year.
Norwegian pays €4,600 to captains’ pensions, but no productivity and expenses, for a total of €128,000.
The airline did not comment when asked if all captains at Dublin receive the full €12,000 productivity payments and €6,000 in expenses every year.