Budget airline Ryanair expects to create more than 5,000 new jobs for pilots, cabin crew and engineers over the next five years as it taps in on pent-up demand for holidays abroad.
The Dublin-based carrier has just opened a £40 million aviation training centre in its home city to prepare new recruits, with similar facilities planned for Spain and Poland.
Subject to no “adverse Covid developments” and vaccinations remaining at 90%-plus across Europe, Ryanair will take delivery of 210 B737 Gamechanger aircraft over the next five years.
The new planes are expected to deliver “industry lowest costs” and reduced carbon emissions.
Only Ryanair has used this crisis to place significantly increased aircraft orders.”
Michael O’Leary, chief executive, Ryanair.
In a trading update released to coincide with its annual general meeting today (September 16), Ryanair said the aircraft would help to accelerate its post-Covid growth, as “opportunities open up at primary and secondary airports all over Europe”.
Ryanair, whose route network includes flights from Aberdeen International Airport to Malaga, Alicante and Faro, expects to do particularly well in locations where “legacy carriers have failed or reduced fleet sizes as a result of Covid and state aid”.
Chief executive Michael O’Leary said: “The performance of the B737 Gamechanger aircraft this summer has exceeded our expectations.
“Operational reliability, fuel consumption, and lower CO2 emissions have so far exceeded guidelines with very positive passenger and crew feedback to these new, more fuel-efficient, quieter aircraft.
“With these new deliveries, Ryanair will open 10 new bases across Europe this year as we work with airport partners to help them recover traffic and jobs post-Covid, and take up slot opportunities that are being vacated by competitor airlines who have collapsed or significantly reduced their fleet sizes.”
He added: “The Covid-19 pandemic has delivered an unprecedented blow to Europe’s aviation and tourism industries.
“Only Ryanair has used this crisis to place significantly increased aircraft orders, to expand our airport partnerships, and to secure lower operating costs so that we can pass on even lower fares to our guests, so that together with our airport partners, we can recover strongly from the Covid pandemic and deliver higher-than-expected growth in both traffic and jobs over the next five years.”