Economy

Michael O'Leary: If Ryanair pilots misbehave there will be no 'goodies'

Michael O'Leary: If Ryanair pilots misbehave there will be no 'goodies'”

A source told Reuters that a letter had been approved by pilots at 17 of 85 Ryanair bases demanding new permanent, contracts under local labour law, though this could not be independently verified by Reuters.

"One of the issues we have to deal with is that we may have got pilot pay a little on the low side", O'Leary said.

The budget airline said Thursday that it would offer a €10,000 ($12,000) annual raise to pilots that are willing to keep flying and help it ease a major staffing crunch.

Ryanair has said it expects up to 20 million euros in compensation claims and 5 million euros in lost fares as a result of the cancellations, though analysts estimated the total cost could be higher. Passengers, meanwhile, are reporting problems in gaining compensation, inundating the firm's Facebook page with complaints.

The meeting comes after Ryanair pilots reportedly rejected a £12,000 or 12,000 euro cash bonus in exchange for working on their holiday.

Employee councils liaise with Ryanair on behalf of pilots and staff, as the company refuses recognise unions.

He told BBC's Newsnight programme: "One of the main pillars in the grievance is that numerous Ryanair pilots do not have a permanent contract - what they have is precarious employment or atypical employment".

"I don't even know how there would be industrial action in Ryanair", he said.

The Irish Air Line Pilots' Association said 140 Ryanair pilots left for Norwegian Air in recent months.

"But that's already factored into our pilot recruitment numbers", he said. "It seems clear that Ryanair has failed to plan properly for the implementation of the regulations".

"It is truly surprising that a company so focused on optimizing operations could be caught out like this", said Loizos Heracleous, a professor at Warwick Business School.

The airline said the cancellations were because of a change in the way pilot's annual leave is calculated meant that too many were granted four-week breaks.

Earlier today, Independent.ie learned that pilots at 33 Ryanair bases across Europe have now demanded improved working and employment conditions from the airline's management.

"There's an underlying problem at Ryanair, which is quite simply that the company can not replace pilots as fast as they quit", he wrote. "The head of the company, Michael O'Leary, openly insults his pilots, and has consistently maintained a policy of heading off any attempt to achieve a collectively bargained contract".



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