Ryanair And EasyJet Willing To Hire Staff Of Flybe Airline

The employees who have lost their jobs as a result of the demise of regional airline Flybe should apply for positions with EasyJet and Ryanair, according to the two budget airlines. Flybe went into administration on Saturday, laying off 277 people.

The British Airline Pilots’ Association (Balpa) said it received phone calls from concerned Flybe employees in the early hours of Saturday morning.

But the union’s leader, Martin Chalk, said there were jobs “out there”.

EasyJet said it had 250 cabin crew openings.

Ryanair announced on its website’s careers section that it had openings in all categories, including pilots, engineers, and ground staff.

“Of course there is upset and concern,” said Chalk, Balpa general secretary.

Some employees had gone through a similar experience when Flybe went bankrupt three years ago, he said. When this occurred, the airline laid off 2,000 employees before relaunching in April of last year.

“The advantage is, this time around, the market is somewhat more buoyant than it was, now that Covid is largely in the rear view mirror,” said Mr Chalk.

Airlines are also determined not to repeat last year’s disaster, which saw thousands of flights cancelled due to staff shortages, leaving passengers stranded and demanding compensation.

After going into administration, Flybe cancelled all planned flights to and from the UK, affecting 75,000 passengers in total. Passengers have been scrambling to find alternate modes of transportation.

According to airline analyst John Strickland, most Flybe employees are unlikely to be left high and dry.

“My expectation is that airlines haven’t completed all their recruitment for the summer, so there will be gaps and opportunities,” he said.

A message on Ryanair’s website encouraged Flybe employees to apply for new positions with the airline.

“[Ryanair has] positions for all of you, across all areas of our business, including flight crew, cabin crew, engineers, ground staff and office staff,” it said.

EasyJet stated that it was not currently recruiting pilots, but that it would encourage Flybe cabin crew to apply for the 250 available positions at Gatwick and Luton airports.

EasyJet said Flybe cabin crew would be prioritized and could begin work within 10 days. Successful applicants for head office positions may be contacted within 14 days.

Flybe entered administration in March 2020, after being thrown off course by the pandemic, which grounded almost all flights. Thyme Opco, a firm affiliated with US hedge fund Cyrus Capital, rescued it and relaunched it in early 2022, but as a much smaller operator.

According to airline analyst John Strickland, this meant that many fewer jobs were at stake this time.

“[And] it’s definitely a more hopeful time for the staff,” he said. “The original Flybe company collapsed with around 70 aircrafts and we were just going into the industry-wide shock that Covid created.

“Contrast with this the revived Flybe, with only around five aircrafts, going into a period when we are looking to put Covid substantially behind us, a period when airlines are optimistic about bookings.”

He added that Ryanair and EasyJet appear to be in a strong position to hire new employees.

Ryanair has already returned to profitability, despite last year’s challenges, and CEO Micheal O’Leary recently told the Financial Times that he sees “no signs” of the current economic slowdown affecting airlines.

EasyJet CEO Johan Lundgren told the BBC that his company’s sales have recovered, reducing losses.

Strickland said Flybe was unable to in benefitting from the resumption in demand for travel, because of tough rivalry, increasing costs for ffuel, and because the airline lacked “a clear and defensible business strategy, given that regional flying is the toughest segment to be in”.

Balpa’s Chalk stated that he would like to collaborate with the industry and the government to create a more stable market, rather than “churn” of companies hiring from each other.

(Adapted from BBC.com)


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