Ryanair is advancing towards social peace for its company after reaching an agreement with the pilots’ union, Sepla, to improve the working and salary conditions of this group in Spain. Both parties, who have described the agreement as “historic”, have endorsed Ryanair’s first collective agreement in Spain after months of negotiation, which will be in force until March 2027 and will benefit 900 employees.
This new collective agreement establishes a series of salary improvements for the next four years, of around 3% per year from the year 2024. In addition, schedules are set and new labor benefits are incorporated. Ryanair CEO Eddie Wilson defended that the signing of this agreement “will bring stability” and “demonstrates Ryanair’s long-term commitment to Spain” after “very difficult times” due to the pandemic.
During the pandemic, Ryanair and the union agreed to establish salary cuts and cost-saving measures in Spain in exchange for maintaining employment, despite the decrease in the number of flights due to the drop in traffic and mobility restrictions. In exchange, the airline promised to keep the licenses and training up to date, so that the return to normality would be as easy as possible.
With this new agreement, in 2023 all previous salaries, which were cut by 20%, will be fully restored. In addition, a minimum salary for an entry commander of about 90,000 euros is established, up to a maximum of 180,000 euros for profiles with more experience and who carry out training work.
The pact includes a new scaled pay structure based on experience, for both captains and co-pilots, and includes variables based on each base. But the main novelty lies in the improvement of work rotation, which facilitates family reconciliation: the pilots will work for five consecutive days and will librarian four, “a rotation that exists in few companies,” according to information from those responsible. In addition, it includes complements for training and concrete payrolls.
For his part, Oscar Sanguino, president of Sepla, stressed that the pilots “gain certainty and security that will allow them to manage their working conditions with the company, providing stability.” The union believes that it will mean “a before and after” in the conditions of these employees, after “six years of negotiation” that “settled a debt with the pilots” of the company. “We celebrate the beginning of a period of understanding between the pilots and the company. This agreement is good for the pilots, for Ryanair and for Spanish aviation. We are all on the same plane,” he concluded.
The company will progressively incorporate 120 new Boeing 737 Gamecharger model aircraft into its European fleet, some of which will go to the company’s bases on the peninsula and islands, especially the Canary Islands, where it is already expanding its base. They will be added to the 106 aircraft that it already has in operation in Spain. In his speech, Wilson has demanded that Spain “continue to be competitive in airport costs” so that the company continues its expansion plans.