Ryanair bosses blame recent flight disruptions on a holiday mix-up, but an Italian pilot says it might also be related to working conditions. Budget airline Ryanair has to cancel nearly 2000 flights between now and October 28th.
A captain and flight instructor for a leading European airline told UWS newsroom that pilots “don’t have vacations, they are working a lot and sometimes they have to stop at the end of the year because they have reached their maximum flying hours. That are 900 hours for a pilot within one year and maybe sometimes in October, November they reach it and they cannot fly anymore until next year. That’s what’s going on in Ryanair.”
He went on to explain many pilots are using Ryanair as a “transition company” to build up their flying hours and get experience for one or two years and then leave. He told UWS newsroom that at the moment there are a lot of openings for pilot jobs all over the world that offer better working conditions. Chinese airlines offer up to three times higher salary for experienced captains. Indeed.com, a recruitment website, stated pilot vacancies in Britain were 60 percent harder to fill than other jobs, as measured by the number of positions still vacant after 60 days.
All this, added to the fact that employees are often treated, as the same captain described, “like an object”, could be reasons for pilots leaving Ryanair as soon as they can, which could be an added cause to the flight disruptions many travellers are experiencing right now.
Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary told investors “we may have got pilot pay a little on the low side” at Ryanair’s annual general meeting on the 21st of September in Dublin.
Pidge White, a UWS student in Ayr, was personally affected by the flight disruptions. she explains “I Couldn’t get home from working in Italy and had to book another flight and they didn’t give me any advance, I showed up at airport and it was cancelled!”
When asked whether Ryanair was helpful in trying to solve the problem she stated they “didn’t reply to email until weeks later and I have not heard about compensation yet”.
Prestwick airport has not been affected by the cancellations however ten flights from Glasgow International airport were annulled. UWS newsroom contacted Ryanair however they didn’t respond.
Reported by Lea Fabbrini