Managing Director Michael O’Leary said the Irish carrier was in talks to buy back airport slots that were left empty by airlines that collapsed during the Covid crisis
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Ryanair is expected to create 5,000 jobs over the next five years as the low-cost airline plans its takeover.
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 was in a better position and had reclaimed slots vacated by collapsed airlines due to the coronavirus hitting the industry hard.
Speaking ahead of the company’s annual meeting of shareholders, 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 after Covid, and seize the niche opportunities that are released by competing airlines that have collapsed or have significantly reduced their fleet size.
Ryanair plans to create more than 5,000 new jobs for pilots, cabin crew and engineers over the next five years, and the group is delighted to have opened an aviation training center earlier this week. £ 43million in Dublin, with two more high-quality training centers planned for Spain and Poland over the next five years, ”added O’Leary.
“We can recover strongly from the Covid pandemic and generate higher than expected growth in traffic and employment over the next five years.”
Ryanair has also improved its growth forecast over the next five years, with projections that the number of passengers will increase by 50%, from 33% previously forecast.
The bosses said they now plan to carry 225 million passengers by March 2026, 25 million more than previous targets.
However, the CEO has already sounded the alarm bells about the price hike, warning that summer vacations will be more expensive as demand increases next year.
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O’Leary said that while confidence is returning and the number of passengers increases, it will have a ripple effect in terms of prices as the number of bookings increases.
He said an increase in vacation demand would coincide with a decrease in flights, which would lead to higher prices for consumers.
O’Leary added that the increase could also affect hotels.
“I think there will be a dramatic recovery in holiday tourism in Europe next year. And the reason I think the prices will be considerably higher is that there is less capacity, ”he said.