Ryanair crisis claims its first casualty

Ryanair crisis claims first casualty
Michael Hickey

COO Michael Hickey the first casualty of budget airline’s pilot holiday rota fiasco

Ryanir chief operations officer Michael Hickey became the first casualty of the budget airline’s pilot holiday rota fiasco, which has led to thousands of flights being cancelled.

Hickey, who was responsible for scheduling shifts for pilots, will leave his post at the end of the month and is the first executive to leave the under-fire airline.

Chief executive Michael O’Leary, who has faced calls to resign, said Mr Hickey “will be a hard act to replace”.

The news of Mr Hickey’s impending departure comes after Mr O’Leary wrote to the airline’s pilots offering them significant improvements to their pay and conditions, if they stay with the airline.

Career prospects

In a three-page letter O’Leary apologises for the changes that caused problems with the rota and said he would beat any deal offered to any of its 4,200 pilots by other airlines, if they remained loyal.

Ryanair has offered pay increases of up to €10k, better payments for extra work, improved conditions and career prospects and a loyalty bonus of €12k is they don’t move to a rival airline. Ryanair has cancelled over 700,000 passengers’ journeys due to the issues over pilot holiday rota.

McCooley's expansion creates 80 new jobs   EIGHTY new jobs have created by the launch of a second McCooley’s bar in Liverpool city centre. The Irish sports and music bar opened its 12,000 square foot venue in Concert Square in 2015, and now owners, Pub Invest Group Bars, plan to open another branch, McCooley’s Mathew Street. The pub is recruiting everything from full-time supervisors and bar managers to part-time bar staff in time for its launch at the end of October. The new bar is situated over two sites, Café Sports Bar in Stanley Street, which was previously owned by Jamie Carragher, and Smokies. It comprises 6,500 square feet over two floors, and will offer drinks, food, live music and sports, including GAA matches. Tam Williams, head of marketing, said: “We are looking for people with experience to fill a range of roles from public relations for the venue to kitchen staff. “McCooleys in Concert Square has been such a huge hit in Liverpool over the past two years with the perfect mix of sports and Irish bar we now thought the time was right to expand over on the other side of the city centre. “With this brings lots of opportunities for job roles - especially at this time of year when we have the new influx of students looking for part time roles to fit in with their studies.”

Having implored them to remain with the airline for a “for a brighter future”, the letter ends with O’Leary adding “I urge you to stay with Ryanair”. Mr O’Leary added that Ryanair was a “very secure employer in a very insecure industry” – a reference to the collapse of Monarch – and called the airline’s pilots “are the best in the business”.

Collective success

He went on to ask the pilots not to allow competitor pilots or their unions “to demean or disparage our collective success” and urged them not to join “one of these less financially secure or Brexit-challenged airlines”.

O’Leary has previously apologised publically for the changes in the rota – brought about to comply with new aviation rules – which led These moves affect more than 700,000 passengers.

It was then forced to improve its compensation to passengers after the airline came in for criticism from the Irish Commission for Aviation Regulation (CAR) over its handling of the crisis, and for not advising passengers fully of their rights. The airline subsequently emailed 20,000 customers outlining their rights and explaining how and when they will be booked onto other flights.

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