The European Cockpit Association (ECA) said this will be the second summer of industrial unrest in a row for Ryanair.
The association believes that the underlying root causes seem similar, and familiar to those of last year: Ryanair’s inability to undertake genuine social dialogue with its employees.
“One year was sufficient for Ryanair to acquire and develop two new airlines – Malta Air and Ryanair Sun in Poland – and to buy a 3rd one – Laudamotion in Austria,” said ECA secretary general, Philip von Schöppenthau.
“But in all this time Ryanair has failed to negotiate long hoped-for Collective Labour Agreements (CLA) with its crew in several major countries. Improving relations with its employees clearly seems to have shifted to a lower place on the priority list.”
ECA added that in the current highly sensitive context of social unrest, Ryanair seems to have opted again for its favourite approach: confrontation.
It said the company issued warnings of job cuts, but few in the industry are convinced by the justification provided by the airline. The continually varying threats are reminiscent of last year’s, made after 100 Irish pilots walked out.
The ECA concluded with a future flying program larger than this year’s, even with the delayed arrival of ‘growth’ 737 MAX aircraft, and management continuing to recruit pilots, “it is difficult to see these ever-changing warnings of a pilot surplus as genuine”.