Ryanair: Relocate to Poland or lose your job

Ryanair has announced plans to relocate a number of its Dublin-based aircraft and staff to Poland. Six of the 30 aircraft which currently operate out of Dublin will be moving to Poland, leaving 100 pilots and 200 cabin crew facing potential redundancies.

“We regret these base aircraft reductions at Dublin for winter 2018, but the board has decided to allocate more aircraft to those markets where we are enjoying strong growth, such as Poland,” said Peter Bellew, Ryanair’s COO.

The announcement comes after Ryanair Holdings Plc, which owns the airline, has come under increasing pressure in recent months. Strikes by flight crews have caused serious disruptions and cancellations, while the growth of Hungary’s Wizz Air has led to a price war, which has impacted the Irish airline’s bottom line.

Back in May, The Economist published an article asking if A Hungarian Start-up could beat Ryanair at its own low-cost game. One of the main reasons The Economist outlined for Wizz Air ramping up the pressure on its bigger rival was the fact that its central and eastern European bases mean that it can benefit from lower labour costs.

Bloomberg News reported this week that it has seen a letter issued by Eddie Wilson, Ryan Air’s Chief People Officer, stating that the airline’s staff should consider relocating to faster growing units within the business, for example Poland.

Whilst the move may be good for the Polish branch of the business, the Irish Airlines Pilot’s Association have already announced another strike due for August 3. The union announced the strike within hours of Ryanair’s strategic move to dismiss members of staff.

“Ryanair’s decision to cut jobs and move planes to Poland from Dublin could look to Irish pilots and other people like a punishment for participation in strike action,” Brian Strutton, general secretary of the British Airline Pilots Association, said at a press conference, adding “this does not give a good impression and is likely further to inflame the situation when what should be happening is both sides getting around the negotiating table to work out a new collective labour agreement.”

Unfortunately, the Irish government have chosen not to get involved in the dispute. Transport Minister, Shane Ross, told RTE Radio: “I’m not going to get involved in that industrial dispute at all.”

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