Ryanair is ending the temporary unemployment scheme (ERTE). In place since the start of the pandemic, pilots at the Irish airline’s Spanish bases receive this. Pilots are back in full service, but at lower than pre-pandemic salaries.
A statement from the Spanish Union of Airline Pilots, Sepla, said Ryanair was ending the ERTE scheme for all workers in Spain. In recent weeks, the airline had been rehiring some of its staff. But given the increase in flights during the summer season, it has decided all of its staff will return to work from July 1st. This is according to sources from Spanish newspaper CincoDías. Initially, Ryanair tried to staff the planes on the routes scheduled for the summer season with foreign personnel.
Less use of ERTE
According to the latest data from the Ministry of Social Security, there were 13,350 airline employees on ERTE in May. That is 3.8% less than the 14,127 a month earlier. Traditional airlines choose to keep a large proportion of their staff in part-time ERTE, due to the greater number of flights in the high season. The company then deploys them according to planned activity and the workload is evenly distributed.
Ryanair is the first company to terminate the ERTE for all its employees. According to company sources, “as Ryanair increases its timetable to meet passenger demand this summer, we have been able to move some of our employees out of the ERTE and into full-time work schedules.
“We continue to work to get all our people back in the air as we relaunch key air links to revitalise Spanish tourism'”
Impulse for tourism
In an interview with Reuters, Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary said demand is recovering strongly. He expects to end the year with a volume of between 80 and 100 million passengers carried. This is an increase from 27.5 million last year.
100% working time, lower salaries
With the airline’s decision, all Ryanair pilots will return to 100% of their working time. Their salaries are also 100% but lower then previously. A year ago, pilots agreed to a salary cut to help the airline cope with the crisis.
Since the start of the Covid-19 health crisis, Ryanair pilots have been working at 50-20% less than their usual working hours. At the end of 2020, the Ministry of Labour and Social Economy refused Ryanair two temporary redundancies of 216 workers because the cause of the force majeure had not been established.