Pilots and cabin crew could take unpaid vacation “for the winter” in the last round of cost-cutting measures by low-cost airline Ryanair – even though their boss received a huge bonus.
Michael O’Leary said flights that are only 30 percent capacity just don’t have the money to pay for them.
The bomb comes after Mr O’Leary received a bonus of £ 419,000 despite a major shareholder revolt with the airline’s vacation staff and the loss of billions in revenue as a result of the coronavirus pandemic MirrorOnline.
“We want our pilots and cabin crew to be hired and paid, but we need a lot of government support for that. Otherwise, they will all have to take unpaid vacation for the winter,” he warned.
The airline boss also refused to confirm that he would no longer lay off staff.
“Winter bookings, advance bookings are terrible right now … we can’t rule out job losses. We have all cut wages, me, our pilots, our cabin crew – but even we can’t keep all these people busy through the winter if we do only carry 40 percent of our normal passengers. “
Ryanair flies from UK airports including Birmingham, Manchester, Bristol and Cardiff to a wide network of destinations.
Mr O’Leary said radical government action was needed to help the ailing industry. He demanded: “We need to withdraw the APD – the taxation of air travel to and from the UK.
“We need the UK to sign the EU’s new itinerary, which will allow people to fly across Europe without these restrictions, so families and business people can book in advance.
“We need a proper vacation program because it seems to me that UK airlines will be flying at around 40 percent or 30 percent of their normal winter capacity.”
At the beginning of the pandemic, Mr. O’Leary agreed to cut his base salary – together with that of his employees – in half for the current financial year due to the uncertainty surrounding Covid-19.
In July, Ryanair announced that it lost £ 168 million in a quarter as the company only carried 500,000 passengers due to restrictions, compared to 41.9 million in the same period last year. Sales slumped from £ 2.1 billion to £ 113 million.
Rising coronavirus infection rates across Europe have raised hopes that quarantine restrictions will be relaxed.