Ryanair pilot tells ITV News flight cancellations could continue in 2018

A portion of the letter sent to pilots.  Source

Announcing Mr Hickey's departure, the firm's embattled chief executive Michael O'Leary said: '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.

"If you have, or are considering joining one of these less financially secure or Brexit-challenged airlines, I urge you to stay with Ryanair for a brighter future for you and you family", he said. He said that Ryanair pilots only worked an average of 18 hours a week and that most of the time they could get in an aircraft and hit autopilot and often have little else to do.

On Friday, it emerged that chief executive Michael O'Leary has written to pilots with a pledge to beat the pay offered by competitors and to improve working conditions over the next six months.

No response has yet been made public from Ryanair's pilots or unions who now represent a portion of them. "It's a, How nice we are, followed by a carrot and then a threat".

Mr O'Leary's letter asked the pilots to take note of "the recent bankruptcies of Air Berlin, Alitalia and Monarch", as well as the difficulties faced by another budget airline, Norwegian Air, which has been under pressure to boost its finances.




As the furor unfolded last month, O' Leary was forced to offer pilots a 12,000 pound bonus to forfeit their annual leave to ensure he had adequate cockpit crew.

Hickey joined Ryanair as an engineer in 1988 when the airline was far from the dominant carrier it is today and became Director of Engineering in 2000 before taking over as Chief Operations Officer three years ago.

Referencing the cancellations announced last month, he apologised personally and said there had been "poor planning" during the airline's "rostering failure". These moves affect more than 700,000 passengers.

As part of his role Mr Hickey, who has had a 30-year career with the airline, was responsible for scheduling shifts for pilots.

Thus, Ryanair was left without enough pilots to carry out regular flights in September and October.

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