Ryanair closing four Spanish bases, threatening 512 jobs: union

Ryanair said Friday it is closing four of its bases in Spain, a move a union said would result in more than 500 job losses.

Ryanair closing four Spanish bases, threatening 512 jobs: union
Photo: AFP

The low-cost airline, facing a September cabin strike, said it would shut its Canary Islands bases of Tenerife, Lanzarote and Gran Canaria as well as Girona from January after a review showed “significant overcapacity in the European short haul market”.

The news, in a statement flagging up “formal notification of collective dismissal prceedings,” comes after two profit warnings in the past 10 months at Ryanair and on the back of a 41 percent dive in first-quarter earnings.

The carrier also blamed Boeing 737 Max aircraft delivery delays affecting 
its plane allocations for the coming months. 

The company said that following a commercial review “a number of bases,” including the Spanish quartet, would close effective from January 8th.

“Our main focus will be on minimising job losses with transfers,” the airline said, adding that under Spanish law a collective redundancies consultation process would be entered into with a negotiating commission set up to that effect by September 8th.

The USO union said in a statement that just as it was engaged in talks on providing a minimum service for 10 strike days Ryanair had informed it by email of the impending closures — citing Brexit worries as an additional factor. USO added that 512 Spanish-based staff were set to lose their jobs.

The union accused the carrier of “dismantling” its Spanish operations and lamented that the airline had also published other vacancies elsewhere in its system.

“The closures and the layoffs are not justified and Ryanair will have to provide explanations to the Spanish labour authorities,” said USO secretary Jairo Gonzalo.

The cabin strike is scheduled to start on September 1st and continue on nine other days across the month after talks between management and unions failed.

READ ALSO: Your rights as a passenger if your Ryanair flight is cancelled

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Ryanair’s cabin bag fee policy ruled ‘abusive’ by Spanish court

A Spanish court has ordered Ryanair to refund a customer who was charged for taking a carry-on bag without a special ticket, and told the airline to remove the clause from its terms and conditions.

Ryanair's cabin bag fee policy ruled 'abusive' by Spanish court
Photo: AFP

In a ruling issued last month but only published Wednesday, the Commercial Court said the budget carrier must repay the 20-euro ($22) fee plus interest it had imposed on a female passenger flying from Madrid to Brussels for taking a small suitcase of up to 10 kilos (22 lbs).

Ryanair only allows small bags into the cabin if they can be stowed under the seat in front, but larger bags of up to 10 kilos require a luggage fee, or a fee-paying priority boarding pass.

In its ruling, which cannot be appealed, the court described the airline's cabin baggage policy as “abusive” in respect to the customer's legal rights under Spanish law.

It declared Ryanair's cabin baggage policy to be null and void and ordered the airline “to remove it” from its terms and conditions.   

But the Dublin-based airline said in a statement that the ruling “will not affect Ryanair's baggage policy.”

Ryanair added that the Spanish court had “misinterpreted the airlines' commercial freedom to determine the size of their cabin baggage.”

In February, Italy's antitrust authority fined Ryanair three million euros and Hungary's Wizzair one million euros over their cabin baggage policy on grounds it was tantamount to raising ticket prices in a “non-transparent”

But last month, an Italian court cancelled the fines following an appeal by the two airlines.

READ MORE: Your rights as a passenger if your Ryanair flight is cancelled