Ryanair to recruit 2,000 new pilots

Airline to take delivery of new Boeing jets over next three years

Ryanair will hire 2,000 new pilots as it takes delivery of new Boeing jets over the next three years.

The Irish airline group recently received the first of 210 Boeing 737 Max 8200 aircraft that it is buying from the US manufacturer.

On Monday the group announced a recruitment drive to hire 2,000 new pilots as it takes delivery of the jets and rebuilds from the Covid-19 crisis over the next three years.


Ryanair stressed that all would be new jobs. The airline will promote captains for the new craft from within its ranks, making way for 2,000 new first officer and cadet recruits.

Darrell Hughes, Ryanair's people director, said that the airline's own pilots would enjoy "fast-tracked promotion" as the carrier took on the new aircraft.

Ryanair will begin training this year to ensure pilots will be ready take up posts across Europe in summer 2022.

The company is joining forces with Airline Flight Academy in Dublin to provide the training courses.

Ryanair said that its pilots work five days on-four days off rosters while they get “world class” training.

"Throughout the pandemic, Ryanair has worked closely with our people to save jobs and we are delighted to start planning for a return to growth over the coming years as we recover from the Covid-19 crisis and grow to 200 million guests by full year 2024," said Mr Hughes.

The airline received the first of the new Boeing jets last month, with several more arriving during the intervening weeks.

The Irish group was originally meant to begin receiving the Boeing aircraft in 2019, but safety regulators grounded the Max in March of that year following fatal crashes in Ethiopia and Malaysia.

European and US authorities have since certified the aircraft as safe following more than a year of work where Boeing addressed problems highlighted by the 2019 crashes.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency lifted its ban on the jet in January.

In December, Ryanair Holdings chief executive Michael O'Leary described the Max as the "most scrutinised and audited aircraft" in aviation history.

However, Ryanair endured further delays in deliveries this year, prompting Mr O’Leary to criticise Boeing several times.


On Monday, the airline said the new aircraft would help Ryanair cut costs, fuel consumption, noise and carbon emissions.

The group maintained that the investment deepened its commitment to being Europe’s “cleanest and greenest” major airline.

Ryanair’s total order for 210 Max aircraft is valued at $22 billion (€18.5 billion) at list prices, but the Irish carrier is likely to have secured a discount on this.

It has also received further concessions from the US manufacturer for the delays in the aircrafts’ delivery, which stretch back for two years.

The airline last month flew 5.8 million people as it stepped up capacity to cash in on increased demand for flights, sparked by European countries easing pandemic travel curbs.

Mr O’Leary said last week that Ryanair hoped to fly more than eight million people this month as the recovery continued.

He recently told industry analysts that the airline hoped to recover to 90 per cent of pre-Covid traffic through next summer, when many of the Max jets will have entered service.

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O’Halloran covers energy, construction, insolvency, and gaming and betting, among other areas