Chief executive Michael O’Leary said the Irish carrier is in talks to buy out airport slots that have been left empty by airlines that collapsed during the Covid crisis
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Ryanair is to create 5,000 jobs over the next five years as the budget airline plans its recovery.
The expansion comes after the company announced at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic that it would lay off 3,000 workers due to the crisis.
But chief executive Michael O’Leary said the carrier is in a better position and has been snapping up slots vacated by collapsed airlines due to coronavirus hitting the industry hard.
Speaking ahead of the company’s annual shareholder meeting, he said: “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.
“Ryanair expects to create over 5,000 new jobs for pilots, cabin crew and engineers over the next five years, and the group is excited to have, earlier this week, opened a £43million Aviation Training Centre in Dublin, with two further high-quality training centres planned for Spain and Poland over the next five years,” O’Leary added.
“We can recover strongly from the Covid pandemic and deliver higher-than-expected growth in both traffic and jobs over the next five years.”
Ryanair also upgraded forecasts for growth over the next five years, with projections that passenger numbers will grow by 50%, compared with 33% previously predicted.
Bosses said they now expect to fly 225million passengers by March 2026 – 25million more than previous targets.
However the chief executive has already sounded the alarm over rising prices, warning that summer holidays are going to be more expensive as demand increases next year.
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O’Leary said that while confidence is returning and passenger numbers are increasing, this will have a knock-on effect in terms of pricing as booking numbers rise.
He said that a rise in demand for holidays would coincide with fewer flights, which would lead to rising prices for consumers.
O’Leary added that the increase could also affect hotels.
“I think there will be a dramatic recovery in holiday tourism within Europe next year. And the reason why I think prices will be dramatically higher is that there’s less capacity,” he said.