Up to 900 jobs at risk at Ryanair as airline confirms cuts are unavoidable

Airline also says will need 600 fewer people than planned for next summer

July 31st, 2019: Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary has told staff in a video message that as many as 1,500 jobs are at risk at the airline due to a slump in earnings, Brexit concerns and delays to expansion plans. Video: Ryanair

 

Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary has told staff at the airline that as many as 1,500 jobs are at risk.

In a video message to staff seen by Bloomberg, Mr O’Leary said the carrier has more than 500 too many pilots and about 400 too many flight attendants right now. He said an additional 600 employees will not be needed by next summer.

A spokesman for Ryanair confirmed the video’s authenticity and declined to comment further.

The news comes amid a slump in earnings and delays to expansion plans forced by the grounding of Boeing’s 737 Max jetliner.

“We over the next couple of weeks will be doing our very best to minimise job losses, but some are unavoidable at this time,” Mr O’Leary said.

The Dublin-based carrier had already warned it would close some European bases and shrink others in response to the Max crisis, which has stalled a fleet upgrade, and concerns around Brexit, without indicating how many positions might go.

Ryanair posted the video Monday after announcing a 21 per cent drop in quarterly earnings hurt by higher fuel costs, faltering economies and a fare war.

Apologetic O’Leary

In the address, an apologetic O’Leary tells staff that redundancies will be detailed by the end of August once the carrier has engaged with airports and unions, with cuts to be enforced in September and October and again after Christmas.

The high number of excess staff is in part due to a reduced level of employee churn, which the chief executive described as having “dried up to effectively zero” in the wake of improved pay deals triggered by a unionisation drive.

Ryanair indicated earlier this month that it would trim operations, saying it expected to get no more than 30 of the 58 Max jets due from Boeing by next summer. The upgraded version of the 737 workhorse was idled and deliveries halted following two fatal crashes in less than five months. – Bloomberg