Ryanair says its pi­lots have ac­cepted a 20 per cent pay cut

Some 90% of re­funds for flights can­celled due to coro­n­avirus to be pro­cessed in July

The Irish Times - - Business News - PETER HAMIL­TON

Ryanair’s Ir­ish pi­lots have ac­cepted a 20 per cent re­duc­tion in pay, which will be re­stored over the com­ing four years, the air­line said yes­ter­day while also not­ing that 90 per cent of cus­tomer re­funds would be pro­cessed by the end of this month.

The air­line wel­comed the ac­cep­tance by all of its pi­lots of the four-year agree­ment, which also re­quires im­prove­ments on ros­ters, flex­i­ble work­ing pat­terns and a change to an­nual leave. It said the deal was de­vised to help min­imise pi­lot job losses.

“This agree­ment gives Ryanair a frame­work to flex its op­er­a­tion dur­ing the Covid-19 cri­sis and a path­way to re­cov­ery when the busi­ness returns to nor­mal in the years ahead,” the air­line said in a state­ment.

Ryanair said it was mak­ing progress in pro­cess­ing cus­tomer re­funds for flights can­celled dur­ing the March-June pe­riod as a re­sult of the Covid-19 cri­sis. It said all March re­fund re­quests had now been cleared. By the end of June, 50 per cent of April re­funds were cleared and the re­main­der of those are ex­pected to be pro­cessed by July 15th.

The air­line ex­pects that by the end of the month, re­funds for all of May and for most of June will have been pro­cessed.

“We will con­tinue to process these cash re­funds as fast as we can, and would en­cour­age any cus­tomers who haven’t yet re­quested a cash re­fund, to do so with our cus­tomer ser­vice team and we will process their re­quest as quickly as pos­si­ble,” said Ryanair DAC chief ex­ec­u­tive Ed­die Wil­son.

Cabin crew

The air­line has also signed an agree­ment with the Fórsa union, it said, which will see Ir­ish-based cabin crew take pay cuts of up to 10 per cent – also to be fully re­stored over four years. The deal also re­quires pro­duc­tiv­ity im­prove­ments. Ir­ish-based cabin crew are cur­rently be­ing bal­loted on the deal.

The com­pany said it was invit­ing ap­pli­ca­tions for “un­paid leave to ad­dress sur­pluses for both pi­lots and cabin crew as part of the agree­ments”.

Sim­i­lar deals have been reached in the UK. Ear­lier this week the air­line’s UK pi­lots ac­cepted pay cuts of 20 per cent while cabin crew there are also be­ing bal­loted.

Sep­a­rately yes­ter­day, Ryanair said it would chal­lenge the Por­tuguese gov­ern­ment’s in­vest­ment in ail­ing flag car­rier TAP in the Euro­pean courts, ar­gu­ing that it is “il­le­gal state aid”.

Por­tu­gal’s gov­ern­ment an­nounced on Thurs­day it had sealed a fi­nal deal with pri­vate share­hold­ers of TAP to in­crease its stake to 72.5 per cent from 50 per cent.

“Ryanair will chal­lenge this il­le­gal state aide to TAP in the Euro­pean Courts and will con­tinue to cam­paign for a level play­ing field in Por­tu­gal for all air­lines,” the Ir­ish air­line said.

And in Lon­don, Ryanair, Easy­jet and Bri­tish Air­ways said they would end a le­gal chal­lenge against the Bri­tish gov­ern­ment after it scrapped its quar­an­tine rule for trav­ellers com­ing from some of the most pop­u­lar tourist des­ti­na­tions.

The Bri­tish gov­ern­ment said the pol­icy would be ended for English hol­i­day­mak­ers to coun­tries such as France, Spain and Italy, al­though it would be main­tained for the United States. – Ad­di­tional re­port­ing: Reuters

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