Ryanair’s boss Michael O’Leary has announced plans for the airline to recruit 125 new pilots within ‘the next week or two’.
The announcement comes just hours after a letter was sent to the company by a group of its existing pilots, rejecting an offer of a tax-free £12,000 bonus in exchange for working overtime.
BREAK: @Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary announces they are going to recruit 125 pilots in next week or two. Also increase pay for some pilots.
— Darren McCaffrey (@DMcCaffreySKY) 21 September 2017
The airline has come under increasing pressure over the past week after it revealed that an issue with staff leave meant thousands of flights would have to be cancelled.
A total of 315,000 passengers have been affected by the blunder, which has resulted in 2% of Ryanair services up to the end of October being axed.
The company’s colourful chief executive Michael O’Leary announced the recruitment drive at Ryanair’s AGM meeting, currently taking place in Dublin.
It has previously dismissed reports that the loss of 140 of its pilots to a Norwegian rival this year has planned a role in the cancellations.
Video: Ryanair boss faces questions over cancellations
The airline reportedly offered its existing pilots a tax-free bonus of £12,000 in exchange for agreeing to work extra days, in order to avoid having to cancel even more flights.
But one group, made up of employee councils from 14 Ryanair bases across Europe, have sent a letter to the firm refusing the offer.
:: Full list of Ryanair’s cancelled flights
Employee councils liaise with Ryanair on behalf of pilots and staff, as the company refuses recognise unions.
The bonus was apparently contingent on pilots having logged at least 800 flight hours over the course of the previous year, but the letter claims few pilots will meet this threshold.
WATCH: Michael O'Leary denies he has bad relationship with pilots but then has a pop at them. pic.twitter.com/9gQrxH1r9f
— Darren McCaffrey (@DMcCaffreySKY) September 21, 2017
The pilots also say the details around the offer are too vague, particularly with regards to the number of days off pilots who accept the bonus would have to give up in order to qualify for it.
They urge Ryanair to engage with them in order to agree better working conditions, and say they will only be fulfilling the terms of their contract – and will work no overtime – until improved contract terms are in place.
Source: SKY News Feed