By Edward Thicknesse | cityam.com
Pilots’ union BALPA has today accused Ryanair of forcing its members to take “huge” pay cuts over the winter period despite recent claims about the speed of airline’s recovery.
According to the union, pilots at East Midlands International airport have been asked to take a 70 per cent pay cut over the coming months.
Along with the rest of the carrier’s stable of pilots, they have already accepted a 20 per cent pay cut due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
As a result, some staff at the airport will be working for less than £1,000 a month, the union said.
The proposed cut comes despite Ryanair’s predictions that it will fly 10.5m passengers for each of the next three months, higher than it had previously predicted.
Earlier this week chief executive Michael O’Leary said that the carrier was recovering at a faster rate than any other European airline.
Yesterday it said it had carried 11.1m passengers in August, double the number it flew in June, after travel restrictions were eased.
Commenting on the cuts, acting BALPA general secretary Martin Chalk accused the carrier of “grabbing wages from its staff”.
“Many pilots have had to get second jobs or use life savings to survive. This feels like it has gone unnoticed by Ryanair management who appear to have zero concern for the wellbeing of their pilots. The prolonged stress caused by this inaction by Ryanair could have long term effects”, he said.
“Ryanair’s loyal pilots have sacrificed their pay to support the company throughout this crisis. Now it is time for Ryanair to recognise the sacrifice, support its pilots and stop treating them as just an item in the expenses column.”
City A.M. has contacted Ryanair for comment.
Earlier this week the Mail on Sunday said that a memo would be sent to Ryanair pilots this week asking for volunteers to go part-time.
Last year Ryanair pilots agreed a 20 per cent pay cut to avoid 3,000 job losses, part of a string of cost-cutting from the airline to protect its finances amid the downturn in travel.
BA is reportedly also looking to cut pay for its staff.