This morning.

Ryanair AGM, Dublin

Asked about the pilots’ rejection of the company’s bonus scheme to encourage them to give up annual leave to address staff shortages, he said the Ryanair may have to take back one week of the pilots’ four week block of leave.

He said Ryanair was entitled to do this under their contracts.

Mr O’Leary said that much of the discontent was fuelled by unions among Ryanair’s competitors, and he pledged that the current difficulties would not lead to unionisation at the carrier.

Meanwhile, 33 Ryanair bases have now rejected the airline’s bonus scheme with further details from other bases expected later.

RTÉ News has seen documents which raise the possibility of a work-to-rule by pilots, which would significantly worsen the current disruption to flights at the airline.

O’Leary plans pilots’ holiday switch to solve cancellations “mess” (RTÉ)

But he [O’Leary] appeared unwilling to give any ground in his stand-off with pilots, instead threatening to cancel their time off and questioning the extent of their talents.

He said any that were due to take a four-week break in the next few months could be forced under the terms of their contract to delay one of those weeks until January.

He added: “Once you are trained and skilled at doing it … I would challenge any pilot to explain how this is a difficult job or how it is they are overworked or how anybody who by law can’t fly more than 18 hours a week could possibly be suffering from fatigue.”

Ryanair boss says he may force pilots to change holiday plans (Henry McDonald, The Guardian)


49 thoughts on “Free Fall

  1. Daisy Chainsaw

    How much was O’Leary charged for his beverage?

    Hmmm… It seems pilots are a little bit more than glorified taxi drivers after all eh?

    Anyone else think Schadenfreude tastes like Ben & Jerry’s Caramel Chew Chew?

    1. Andy

      Glorified Bus Drivers*

      Slightly more difficult than driving a taxi but nothing like it was in the past.

      *Direct quote from a friend of mine who is a current pilot with a UK airline. The plane pretty much flies itself.

  2. Milo

    O Leary is only comfortable being the small guy taking on the big guys. Tables have turned and he is floundering.

  3. Otis Blue

    It seems that this may be a pivotal moment for Ryanair. The cheeky upstart disrupter stuff no longer works. They’re mainstream establishment now and the mood towards it is turning really ugly. O’Leary sees opportunistic pilots pushing pay demands while the public see safety being compromised. People have got used to low fares but will also look at the colossal profits being made and wonder why decent working terms and conditions cannot be offered to staff. The competition appears able and willing to square this issue. Jaded, knackered and demotivated pilots are not a good business model.

    O’Leary’s arrogance will be their undoing. Win ugly; lose ugly.

    1. Yep

      A lot more players in the market now though. Certainly won’t reach the dizzy heights but would imagine they will bounce back somewhat.

  4. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

    Loves Jesus and America too

    Tra la laaaaa!

    Is it sad to like Tom Petty or cool in a post-ironic way? Full Moon Fever is one of my ‘nostalgia favourite’ albums.

    1. A snowflake's chance in hell

      That’s an excellent question andy, one I’ve long battled with

      But fear not, it is cool – the long ironic drawl in Tom’s voice is the deciding factor.

      See also: duets with Stevie Nicks

      1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

        Noted. Will check it out.

        Do you remember that hoo-haa with Sam Smith? First time I heard “Stay with Me”, I genuinely thought it was a weird-ass version of I Won’t Back Down.

        1. A snowflake's chance in hell

          Not really, until I had kids I had a sort of internal rule that I didn’t pay much attention to any new music or art less than 10 years old

          I see what you mean regarding that song though, it’s awful watery stuff,

    2. ivan

      FMF is great but you have to be able to get past the Jeff Lynn oh-so-80’s production. See also, er, Traveling Wilburys and George H’s Cloud 9…

      1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

        Heh. It’s a very definite genre, isn’t it? MOTR but excellent musicians and banging tunes.

      2. A snowflake's chance in hell

        True enough

        maybe I’m getting old but 80s Production doesn’t sound as naff to me now as it used to

    3. rotide

      Great album, great live.

      People get far too concerned about whether certain music is cool or not. If you like it, then enjoy it and don’t worry. The bajillion Westlife/bieber/Nathan Carter fans do this happily enough and don’t give a stuff what anyone thinks.

  5. Killian

    The man is a genius, wouldn’t like to work for him, but delighted to have seen about 20 European cities, I wouldn’t have seen had Ryanair not come along. If he was American he’d be celebrated, but because he’s an Irishman gone from newsagent to billionaire, they want to take him down.

    1. Anomanomanom

      All that is true, id love to see him in charge of a government department but with a little less full ryanair model. Saying that he does seem to actually hate his workers.

        1. Anomanomanom

          I’ve never liked him as a td, two faced ass. But not bowing to already money burning transport bodies is a good thing. It is not his job to go between workers and there employer.

      1. Turgenev

        Which government department? It would be fun to imagine the Ryanair model as it would operate on vital departments like Health or Education or Housing.

        1. Gorev Mahagut

          Ryanair health service:
          – They call it “stomach tumor removal” but it’s actually a gastric band fitting. If the location is ‘close enough’ they just call it the same name.
          – You book the operation, on the day you find out they charge extra for anaesthetics and stitching you up afterwards.
          – You aren’t assigned a bed in the ward, you have to go find one yourself.
          – “Why are you complaining that the cancer is still there? We’ve made operations affordable for thousands of people. If you don’t like it go to a different hospital, we don’t care.”

        2. Anomanomanom

          health would be fantastic, he’d cut the monstrous waste of money in time. But like I said with less of the actual ryanair model, so the staff and “customer”(patients) get a cheap effect health service.

          1. Andy

            Ryanair is an extremely flat organization i.e. very few managers.
            I would’ve though the socliasts would love that in Health.

            Less managers more wurkers.

          1. A snowflake's chance in hell

            recent psychological studies have shown that people tend to see their own traits in others

          2. Brother Barnabas

            You misunderstood those studies so. Psychological studies also show that individuals of average or slightly above average intelligence tend tend to interpret academic studies in accordance with preexisting beliefs rather than actual understanding.

          3. A snowflake's chance in hell

            In a tedious effort to prove how clever they are they also “tend” to make basic errors in editing and sentence construction, thereby reinforcing the initial low, adverse and disfavourable view others generally make of them.

      1. Anomanomanom

        They hate him because he’s good at his job, present fupp up not included. He is what he is, one of the best irish business men of all time.

          1. Anomanomanom

            Its his job to run an airline, make money for the airline. He’s being doing this brilliantly, again part from current fupp up.

    2. Sam

      Aw, poor persecuted genius… who ate into safety margins with tight fisted policies on minimum fuel. That’s something worth taking him down a peg or two for.

  6. BazD

    And people wanted him to run the country!


    Capitalist boo boo who has no concern for his fellow man, only the bottom line.

  7. Cian

    MO’L: “I would challenge any pilot to explain how this is a difficult job or how it is they are overworked or how anybody who by law can’t fly more than 18 hours a week could possibly be suffering from fatigue”

    This is wonderful. What O’Leary isn’t saying is that the “18 hours a week” is flying hours – literally the time the airplane is under its own power. The 18-hours-a-week doesn’t include the pre/post-flight checks. It doesn’t include time spent in the cockpit if the flight is delayed. It doesn’t include time getting to/from the planes.

    1. Andy

      Getting to/from the plane?

      Righttttt……………because I include my commute in my working hours…….these guys are pilots, not TDs

  8. Daisy Chainsaw

    And the reason nobody is taking O’Leary up on the 12k bonus is because you have to have 800 flying hours in a year to qualify for it. Pilots are saying they don’t have anywhere near that kind of flying time

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