Ryanair will train up to 450 new pilots over the next five years as part of a new training partnership with a Cork-based international flight school.
The pilots will train for 16 months intensively at the school, which the budget airline is running in conjunction with Cork’s Atlantic Flight Training Academy to support further growth across Europe. The budget airline, Europe’s largest, added that it would hire up to 1,000 pilots a year over the next five years.
“This new Ryanair-AFTA programme will provide the airline with a steady pipeline of talented and professional pilots from around Europe to meet the needs of our growing network,” said Ryanair’s head of crew training captain Andy O’Shea. The partnership will also create 50 jobs.
In Cork, Irish politician Simon Coveney said he hoped the newly qualified pilots would fly on the new Cork routes. He added: “To the 450 trainees who will launch their careers from here, I wish you every success.”
It comes as Ryanair is targeting 20 per cent growth in Cork traffic, and 1.1m passengers through Cork Airport next year. It has just launched its summer 2019 schedule from Cork, with four new routes to Budapest, London Luton, Malta and Poznan in Poland out of 16 routes in total.
The pilot training initiative comes as Ryanair is battling strike action from pilots and cabin crew across Europe. On 12 September, German pilots and cabin crew called for a 24-hour walkout amid a row over working condition and pay, causing 150 out of 400 scheduled flights to and from Germany to be cancelled.
Another co-ordinated strike is due to take place on 28 September after unions from Spain, Italy, Portugal, the Netherlands and Belgium confirmed the walkout.
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