Ryanair to create 3,500 jobs next year

The airline had been a fierce critic of Brexit, saying it would be bad for the industry, but is now pushing ahead with aggressive expansion plans.

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Ryanair is to create more than 3,500 new jobs next year as it adds a further 50 planes to its fleet.

The budget Irish airline said it planned to take on 2,000 cabin crew, 1,000 pilots and 250 engineers as it continues its expansion. 

However, the carrier did not say how many of the new positions would be based in the UK, commenting only that they would be “spread throughout Ryanair’s 84-base European network”.

In a July trading statement, the company said it would “pivot growth away from UK airports and focus more on growing at our EU airports over the next two years”, adding that this would mean cutting capacity on many routes out of London Stansted.

Ryanair boss, Michael O’Leary, a vocal supporter of remaining within the EU, said last week that airlines were delaying investment because of uncertainty around Brexit. Last month that the UK would be “screwed” in Brexit trade deals.

He said then: “We're being very cautious about the amount of capacity we're allocating to the UK over the next two or three years until we get some kind of indication of what Brexit will look like.

“It's not because we're annoyed or anything with the UK, but we have much more political certainty in continental Europe than we have in the UK while they're all running around trying to work out what Brexit looks like.”

The current recruitment drive is part of a broader plan that includes boosting plane numbers from 355 to over 500 in five years, with total staff numbers increasing by 5,000 over that period.

Eddie Wilson, chief people officer at Ryanair, said: “2017 is set to be our busiest recruitment year to date, and we are continuing to invest heavily in talent for the future.”

Meanwhile, traffic figures showed Ryanair increased passenger numbers by 13 per cent year-on-year in September, tp 10.8 million. The group's load factor - how full its planes are - also improved, moving to 95 per cent last month from 94 per cent a year earlier.

Ryanair also said it expects average fares to drop by between 10 and 12 per cent in the next six months.

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