Ryanair announces a pay rise for pilots after roster meltdown

Helen Cahill
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Ryanair has this morning announced a pay rise for its pilots following the airline's roster meltdown earlier this year.

The figures

For the six months ended 30 September, profit before tax grew 11 per cent, up from €1.17bn (£1.03bn) to €1.29bn.

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Revenues for the first half were up seven per cent to €4.43bn.

Ryanair also increased its customer numbers from 64.8m to 72.1m.

Why it's interesting

Ryanair infuriated customers in September when it failed to roster its pilots correctly, leading it to cancel flights. The company explained today that it gave pilots too much holiday, and also failed to complete the training of new pilots on time, which led to staff shortages. Some 700,000 customers faced flight disruption, and refunds have cost the company €25m so far.

Today, Ryanair said its mistake "has challenged us to address the competitiveness of our pilot pay" and other staff management issues. The airline said its pay was already competitive, but it intends to do more.

"We will now move from being “competitive” to offering materially higher (over 20 per cent) pay with better career prospects, superior rosters, and much better job security than Norwegian, among others, can offer," the company said.

Read more: Ryanair airlifts in new COO to tackle pilots crisis

In the full year, the pay rise for pilots will cost €100m, but the firm said this will not change the cost advantage it has over its EU competitors.

What Ryanair said

Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary said: "I’m sorry that our people have had to listen to misinformation about Ryanair promoted by competitor pilot unions, however we have been here before, and we will be again. We understand that the reason they wish to denigrate Ryanair is because their airlines cannot compete with us.

"As usual when these union airlines fail, such as Monarch, Air Berlin and Alitalia in recent months, their pilots all come to Ryanair seeking jobs that pay up to €175,000 p.a., deliver a double bank holiday weekend every week, with the best promotions record and the best job security in Europe. We will continue to work hard to deliver for our people, our customers and our shareholders while these competitor unions will continue to rail and fail."

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