Ryanair plans job cuts as its Dublin fleet is trimmed by 20 percent

  • European budget airline Ryanair has written to 300 staff warning of job losses.
  • The Irish carrier is moving 20 percent of its Dublin fleet to Poland.
  • It claims that ongoing industrial action by pilots is partly to blame for the reshuffle.
A Ryanair plane on the tarmac in Rome.
Nicolas Economou | NurPhoto | Getty Images
A Ryanair plane on the tarmac in Rome.

The Irish budget carrier Ryanair has written to more than 300 pilots and cabin crew to warn that they could lose their jobs this winter.

The airline said in a statement Wednesday that it will also reduce its Dublin fleet by 20 percent, shifting six of 30 planes it bases at its Irish depot to Poland. It added the changes were because of increased Polish business happening at the same time as a fall in bookings and lower airfares in Ireland “partly as a result of recent rolling strikes by Irish pilots.”

Ryanair said it expected that a “few” routes will be stopped from Dublin while others would have less regular flights. Its Polish airline, Ryanair Sun, will now double the number of aircraft on offer to Polish tour operators to over 10.

More than 100 pilots and over 200 cabin crew employees have been sent “letter of protective notice” that start a 90-day redundancy consultation. The firm said it will offer staff transfers to Poland to minimize job losses.

In the statement, Ryanair Chief Operating Officer Peter Bellew said the airline could not continue to damage its reputation for reliability and the potential job losses were a “deeply regretted consequence.”

Summer of strikes

Nearly 100 Ryanair pilots have voted to strike in a row over working practices and those who are members of the Irish trade union first downed tools on July 12.

Another strike took place on Friday, July 20, affecting an estimated 4,000 passengers traveling between Ireland and the U.K. Ryanair crew based in Italy will go on strike for 24 hours on Wednesday and crew in Spain, Portugal and Belgium will strike for 48 hours on July 25 and 26.

The airline has suggested its pilots enjoy the best working conditions of any Irish worker. To back that claim, the airline published a briefing note which revealed Irish captains now earn up to 200,000 euros ($233,885) a year and receive 6,000 euros each year for uniforms, medicals and snacks.