Ryanair Warns of Job Losses as Delivery Date of 737 Max is Extended
Ryanair, Europe’s largest airline group, has warned its staff of possible job losses and base closures, as the date for delivery of 10 new Boeing 737 Max aircraft has been extended to the autumn.
In an internal memo seen by Reuters, and dated January 27th, the airline says that Boeing will not deliver the new aircraft until September or October.
The airline had hoped to have the new aircraft delivered before June and according to the memo, the extended delivery date may lead to job losses for both pilots and cabin crew, along with possible closure of some of its bases.
Ryanair does not take delivery of aircraft during the peak travel months of June, July and August.
Chief Executive Eddie Wilson, who sent the memo, said in it, ‘I have asked our commercial team to work up their proposals for these 10 aircraft reductions in summer 2020, and I hope to have their final recommendations over the next week.’
He goes on to say, ‘We will do our best to avoid any more base closures, but this will mean eliminating at least 10 aircraft from existing bases, and so further pilot and cabin crew job losses cannot be ruled out.’
Ryanair has a fleet of over 450 aircraft. It is one of the biggest customers for Boeing 737s and according to its website currently has 210 of the aircraft on order.
The Boeing 737 Max was grounded following two fatal air crashes. Lion Air flight 610 crashed in Indonesia in October 2018 killing 189 people. This was followed by the Ethiopian Airline 302 crash in March 2019 which killed all 157 people onboard. Both crashes were attributed to the failure of software designed to prevent the aircraft from stalling.
Boeing had previously estimated that it would receive approval for the 737 Max to return to service in March or April of 2020 but last week said that this estimate has now been extended to the middle of the year.
Ryanair’s Head of Marketing Kenny Jacobs said earlier this month he hoped the 10 aircraft would be delivered in March or April, though the timing would be dependent on regulators.
The airline’s CEO Michael O’Leary has previously described the 737 Max as a ‘game changer’ due to its ability to carry more passengers while burning less fuel than similar aircraft it currently has in operation.
(Image via corporate.ryanair.com)