Pilots’ call to shareholders: “Ryanair management & governance must change”

Tomorrow, investors will meet at Ryanair’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) – under a general media ‘lock-out’ imposed by the airline’s management team. One year after Ryanair’s pilot rostering and flight cancellation crisis, and 9 months after its announcement that it would open up to unions, the situation is more chaotic and unpredictable than ever. Apart from two agreements on targeted terms and conditions reached in Italy and Ireland, negotiations with pilot unions across Europe are either blocked or progressing at snail’s pace. As a result, industrial unrest is more present – and more likely in future – than it ever was.


The obvious question to investors is: Can the current management team deliver the change that is needed to ensure a smooth transition towards a unionised airline?

Developments over the past months have clearly shown that the relationship between Ryanair management and its employees has become dysfunctional, and this is now putting at risk the continued success of the airline,” says ECA President Dirk Polloczek. “Regardless of repeated assurances about improving employee relations, the approach taken by the company’s leadership over more than 20 years seems largely unchanged. Management simply appears unable to talk to its own employees in a constructive manner and without falling back into its old and unhelpful habits. It is not surprising that Ryanair pilots and their national unions are increasingly frustrated and see industrial action as the only way to bring about changes that management seems unwilling to accept at the negotiating table.”


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