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.
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.”