Ryanair says 1,000 of 5,000 new jobs could be in Republic
Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary hopes that up to 1,000 of the 5,000 jobs recently announced and planned by the airline over the next five years could be based in the Republic.
However, he warned that would only be likely if the state took immediate action to introduce an aviation stimulus package.
Speaking to The Irish Times after the carrier’s general meeting in Dublin, Mr O’Leary said 40 of the airline’s new 737 Max jets could also end up here if enough action is taken to boost the industry .
Mr O’Leary said a stimulus package was needed, not only for airlines but also for the tourism industry as a whole. He said with long-haul travel set to slowly recover, the state was heavily dependent on welcoming visitors from Britain and mainland Europe.
Transport Minister Eamon Ryan “has done nothing to revive aviation in the past 18 months,” O’Leary said, calling on the government to do more to support the travel and tourism sectors and pull started from a rebound.
“Eamon Ryan must come up with an aviation policy that keeps low cost air access to and from Ireland at the center of things because tourism is our biggest industry, and not erect windmills and build more. of bus lanes, “he said.
Mr O’Leary said the finance ministry was broadly in favor of introducing an aviation stimulus package, but Mr Ryan’s ministry continued to drag its feet on the issue. He was speaking after the airline raised its long-term traffic forecast,
“I would have a reasonable expectation that there will be progress on a stimulus package, but it will probably be implemented by the Ministry of Finance, rather than Transport,” he said.
“The Department [of Transport] seems unable to make a decision, ”added Mr. O’Leary.
He warned that failure to implement a stimulus package and helping Cork and Dublin airports cut charges to attract airlines would result in the state’s planes being relocated to other jurisdictions. where demand was high.
The Irish carrier intends to open 10 new bases across Europe and seize the slot opportunities opened up by competing airlines.
Ryanair has an agreement with Shannon Airport on incentives, but similar agreements with Cork and Dublin airports only last until next June. Mr O’Leary said this had to be extended until October to coincide with the end of the aviation industry’s summer season.
He warned this was essential as fewer people based in Ireland would want to vacation at home and there would still be low levels of visitors from North America.
“If it is extended there will be a strong recovery with a return of European traffic entering Ireland,” said Mr O’Leary.
He said Dublin was “the big hole in Irish tourism”, with restaurateurs preferring the west and little international travel to the capital.
“Dublin has been empty all summer, and we are not going to recover long-haul traffic quickly, so we have to do everything possible to attract British and European visitors here,” he added.
Mr O’Leary has also said he has no plans to resume talks with Boeing over a proposed multibillion-euro deal to purchase 737 Max 10 jets. The airline withdrew from talks last week, saying prices were too high.
“I think Boeing will review its position. If they don’t, then we’ll happily wait because a good thing about the airline industry is that there’s always a crisis ahead in four or five years, as we have. seen with the Gulf War, September 11 and now the pandemic. We have the discipline to wait for prices to drop.
Ryanair now plans to carry 225 million passengers per year by 2026, up from 200 million previously, and has restored most of its routes in Europe.
The airline announced earlier this week an investment of 50 million euros in a new training center in Dublin with plans to train 5,000 new pilots, cabin crew, engineers and ground operations staff .
Mr O’Leary said that although the Republic generated less than 8% of the carrier’s revenue, it was still an important market for the company with the location of the new hub.