Senior Ryanair executive Michael Hickey quits over cancellations

Chelsea West
October 9, 2017

Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary said in a statement: "Over the past 30 years Mick Hickey has made an enormous contribution to Ryanair, especially the quality and safety of our engineering and operations functions".

But in the letter he urges pilots to stay with Ryanair "for a brighter future". While Ryanair does not recognize trade unions, pilots have launched web and social media forums in recent months to air their grievances. "I have the utmost respect and admiration for Ryanair's pilot team", he said.

Ryanair's sweeteners included pay increases, loyalty bonus payments, improved rotas and better compensation for pilots forced to work away from their home base.

The Ryanair chief executive told the pilots the airline will each year benchmark its pilot pay against its 737 competitors, particularly Jet2 and Norwegian.

Mr O'Leary stressed that Ryanair was a "very secure employer in a very insecure industry" and he emphasised that the airline's pilots "are the best in the business".

He concluded the message to pilots by asking them to give the airline any evidence of higher pay by a rival at their base so Ryanair could "meet it and beat it".

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The letter addresses a number of areas of concern for pilots including pay, conditions, rosters and comments made by Mr O'Leary at the company's AGM.

That has led to the disruption of the travel plans of 700,000 passengers.

At the end of September announced that the winter will cancel another 18 thousand flights.

Mr Hickey, who has been at the budget carrier for almost 30 years, will leave at the end of the month.

Passenger numbers jumped by 10% in September, even amid flight cancellations, which "underlines the extent to which the budget carrier is still growing despite the pilot-rostering challenges that have clipped its planned expansion", says aviation website FlightGlobal.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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