Ryanair aims to recruit 2,000 more pilots over the next three years to help rebuild the airline’s passenger numbers after the Covid-19 pandemic as it takes delivery of more than 200 Boeing 737 Max aircraft.
The airline received its first 737 Max jets from Seattle last month and plans to take delivery of more than 50 this summer to start ramping up schedules next year.
Ryanair has dubbed the Boeing aircraft its ‘game changer’ because of the new model’s higher fuel efficiency and seating capacity, compared to its existing 737 fleet.
Managing Director Michael O’Leary said last month passengers would be allowed to change flights if they were uncomfortable traveling on recertified 737 Max planes, which have been grounded around the world. after two fatal accidents killed 346 people during his first months of service.
The airline said it would prioritize existing pilots for promotion to captain, while aspiring pilots could train now to join as cadets in 2022. Ryanair pilots have suffered cuts to the rank of captain. salary and unpaid leave during the pandemic, with up to 3,000 employees initially scheduled under plans announced last May.
Ryanair Chief of Staff Darrell Hughes said: “As we take delivery of more than 210 game-changing Boeing 737-8200s, Ryanair will recruit more than 2,000 pilots over the next three years to fill the positions created. by this growth. This is great news for experienced and budding pilots, but also for our own pilots who will benefit from accelerated promotions.
“Throughout the pandemic, Ryanair has worked closely with our employees to save jobs and we are delighted to start planning for a return to growth over the next few years as we recover from the Covid crisis- 19 and grow to 200 million customers by 2024. ‘
The bullish announcement of the airline’s growth plans came as uncertainty persists over an immediate resumption of aviation despite the potential release of many trips starting next week.
Heathrow, Britain’s largest airport, said on Monday its passenger numbers were still down nearly 90% from levels before the 2019 pandemic, while European rivals saw rapid growth in passenger numbers. freight volumes.
Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye has urged the government to extend the relaxation of quarantine rules for double-vaccinated UK nationals to US and EU nationals for a bigger economic “kick-start”.
He said: “These changes will be critical for exporters who lose out to EU rivals and families who have been separated from loved ones. “