European low-cost behemoth Ryanair is preparing to slash jobs as it contemplates cutting flights next summer due to the grounding of its Boeing 737 MAX fleet.
Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary has sent a video to workers warning that the airline has 900 too many pilots and cabin crew and that an unspecified number of redundancies would be announced by the end of August.
Other factors affecting the low-cost carrier include falling profits due to fare wars and the uncertainty around Brexit.
O’Leary said he would do his best to minimize jobs losses.
The BBC has seen the video and quoted O’Leary as saying: “It’s been a challenging summer, we’re facing a very difficult winter.
“I’m sorry to advise you that this means we need to cut our aircraft numbers and our staffing, not just for summer 2020 but also in winter 2019.
“This will result in some base cuts, some base closures, and I’m very sorry to say, some job losses this winter for pilots and cabin crew, at the end of our summer schedule in September and October, and also some immediately after Christmas.”
The Ryanair chief said the 737 MAX grounding had delayed the delivery of 28 planes and forced the airline cut flights and close bases.
He was also worried a no-deal Brexit could have a damaging impact, particularly on the airline’s UK and Irish bases.
Ryanair on July 29 reported a 21 percent fall in first-quarter profits to €243m as average fares fell 6 percent.
This was despite strong ancillary revenues and 11 percent traffic growth to 42 million passengers.
The airline said the delivery of its first five Boeing 737 MAX aircraft had been delayed from the first quarter “to probably January at the earliest”, subject to European regulatory approval.
It warned the reduction in MAX deliveries was expected to cut its growth rate from 7 percent to 3 percent.