Ryanair’s Rivals Come to the Rescue of Pilots and Cabin Crew After 300-Layoffs Announced

  • easyJet recruiting over a thousand new cabin crew
  • Vacancies available across Europe
  • Norwegian seeking Boeing 737 pilots
  • Biggest strike in Ryanair’s history saw airline cancel around 20% of flights
  • Ryanair refusing to pay compensation to passengers

Two of Ryanair’s biggest rivals – easyJet and Norwegian have said they have plans to hire hundreds of pilots and cabin crew just two days after Ryanair said it would make around 300 flight crew redundant at its Dublin base.  Ryanair has pinned its decision on a series of strikes led by pilots and cabin crew who are fighting for better working conditions at the low-cost carrier.

Luton-based easyJet says it is already making plans to hire around 1,200 new cabin crew at Southend after the airport operator announced big expansion plans.  Many of those jobs, however, won’t go live until the Summer 2019 season and many will be offered as fixed-term contracts without any security of being made permanent.

easyJet currently has cabin crew vacancies in around 22 of its bases across Europe for which the recruitment team is actively inviting applications.  While Dublin isn’t listed as one of the available locations, easyJet plans to hold a pilot and cabin crew roadshow in the Irish capital next week.

Interested candidates will be able to find out more about a career with easyJet at one of two roadshows which are being held on the 31st July and 1st August at the Carlton Hotel, Dublin Hotel.  The roadshows will be open from 9 am to 6 pm.

Norwegian on the hunt for Boeing 737 pilots

Meanwhile, Norwegian is accepting applications for Boeing 737 Captains and First Officers for a number of bases across Europe.  Ryanair had recently jibed Norwegian, saying its pilots would soon be looking for employment at the Irish-based airline – how the tables have turned.

Norwegian isn’t currently recruiting cabin crew although we would expect the airline to open up applications for both short-haul and long-haul crew in the not too distant future.  Interested candidates are invited to register their details on the official Norwegian careers website.

20% of flights cancelled after 48-hour cabin crew strike

Ryanair was forced to cancel around 20% of its flights on Wednesday and Thursday after cabin crew in Spain, Portugal and Belgium took part in a 48-hour strike.  Crew in Italy joined the strike on Thursday despite Ryanair proudly announcing that it had struck a union recognition agreement in the country only days before.

“Cabin crew were forced to resort to strike action due to Ryanair’s persistent failure to improve pay and working conditions,” explained a spokesperson for the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF).

“Instead of engaging with its workforce, Ryanair made some last-minute efforts to undermine the strike by forcing workers from elsewhere in Europe to cover for striking colleagues,” the spokesperson continued.

“Meanwhile, they also blamed Irish workers when announcing plans to reduce operations in Dublin. This immature anti-union approach and bullying tactics raise the question of whether the current management is capable of steering the company towards a sustainable, unionised business model.”

Ryanair refusing to pay compensation

On Wednesday, Ryanair announced plans to make around 100 pilots and 200 cabin crew redundant at its Dublin base.  The airline blamed the decision on damage to forward bookings caused by a series of strikes led by pilots who belong to the FORSA pilots union.

Ryanair said 50,000 passengers had been affected by the 48-hour cabin crew strike but the airline has said it will refuse to pay EC261 denied boarding compensation which may be owed to many passengers.

Saying that the strikes are an “extraordinary circumstance” because unions failed to engage with the airline, Ryanair has said it has no responsibility to pay out compensation.  Civil aviation authorities, including the UK’s CAA, however, have indicated that passengers would be entitled to compensation.

Ryanair has taken to social media to blame unions for the disruption but has faced an angry backlash from passengers who support pilots and cabin crew.

Mateusz Maszczynski

Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.

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