RyanAir announced yesterday a massive 20% drop in profits. These were mostly down to rising fuel costs, showing how thin the companies margins are.
However, another element was rising pay for its pilots and cabin crew.
RyanAir decided to recognise several unions in the Irish Republic, UK, France, Italy and Germany seemingly thinking that it could reach quick agreements over pay and conditions and move on.
RyanAir management have always been penny pinching to the point of nearly ridiculous, and this mentality seems to have contaminated their view of what staff should be paid.
The result is that the unions are pressing to get a living wage for their staff – when RyanAir seems to think that’s not really necessary or just plain unrealistic.
The result is strike action threats. RyanAir’s response to that? Well we’ll just remove aircraft from bases with striking staff and shut down routes, so no jobs and no staff equals no problem.
In typical RyanAir fashion they leap to the nuclear option, completely bypassing the whole point of unions and a negotiated settlement.
It’s also becoming apparent there may have been more than a little hubris involved in snatching Laudamotion away from under the noses of the competition.
First the legal battle with Lufthansa over the leased A320’s for various legal contractual reasons, will end up in a British court.
However the non-payment accusations levelled by RyanAir at Lufthansa will be heard in Germany.
On top of that Laudamotion losses are far higher than RyanAir expected. The Austrian airlines position at Vienna has also been severely undermined by its once potential owner – IAG, using its combined might to create a fleet of A320/21’s operating as LEVEL in a matter of three months. They began flights this past weekend.
It seems for once that RyanAir has aggravated not one massive airline group, but two, and without any real need. All actions have their consequences.