Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary has apologised to pilots at the airline, and offered them a pay rise.
The company’s facing a crisis as hundreds of pilots move to rival airlines but in a letter to flight crews, Mr O’Leary’s offered to beat the pay and conditions offered by other carriers.
In his letter, Michael O’Leary starts with a personal apology to pilots for the recent disruption to rosters.
Previously he called pilots ‘precious’ but in this circular, he says they have his ‘utmost respect’
He promises bonuses, improved rostering arrangements and says the company will match and exceed the pay scales of rival airlines like Norwegian Air and Jet 2 – companies he claims don’t offer the same job security.
Addressing comments he had made about pilots after the company’s AGM last month, Mr O’Leary said Ryanair’s pilots were the best in the business, worked hard, were well trained and were extremely professional.
He also promises pilots a loyalty bonus up to €12,000 payable from next month, and promises pilots an improvement in the management of rosters, training, and base selection.
However, one thing he rules out altogether is the involvement of unions.
Mr O’Leary says pilots who want improved pay and conditions must deal with the company through Ryanair’s Employee Representative Councils.