Ryanair & Spanish Pilot Union SEPLA Agree On Pay Cuts To Save Spanish Jobs

20 Aug 2020

Ryanair today (18 Aug) welcomed SEPLA’s acceptance for Spanish Pilots of a 4-year agreement, which includes a 20% pay reduction restored over 4 years, along with productivity improvements on rosters, flexible working patterns and annual leave to minimise Spanish Pilot job losses. This agreement gives Ryanair a framework to flex its operation during the Covid-19 crisis and a pathway to recovery when the business returns to normal in the years ahead.

The SEPLA agreement was overwhelmingly accepted by more than 80% of Ryanair’s Spanish Pilots, demonstrating that Ryanair Pilots and their Union are willing to work with the company during the Covid-19 crisis where Ryanair will carry significantly less traffic, at much lower fares for the foreseeable future. Just this week Ryanair announced further 20% reductions to its September and October flight capacity as forward bookings have notably weakened.

Ryanair has demonstrated its ability to work with unions and conclude these agreements across its European operation, including now with our Spanish pilots. Regrettably in Spain it has been impossible to reach an agreement with the cabin crew unions USO and SITCPLA who – uniquely in Europe – continue to obstruct necessary cost savings putting jobs and tourism links at risk. In every other EU market where Ryanair operates, we have been able to negotiate agreements to save jobs, improve productivity and reduce costs in response to the Covid-19 crisis both with Pilot and Cabin Crew Unions. Sadly USO’s and SITCPLA’s failure to negotiate or meaningfully engage will now mean that Spanish Cabin Crew job losses are now more likely as we have no agreement with Spanish cabin crew unions.

Ryanair’s CEO Eddie Wilson said:

“We welcome today’s result that an overwhelming majority (80%) of SEPLA members voted in favour of a 4-year agreement on 20% pay cuts and productivity improvements on rosters and flexible working patterns to save the maximum number of Spanish Pilot jobs.

The strength of this vote demonstrates the commitment from our Spanish pilots to work with Ryanair as we work our way through this Covid-19 crisis over the next few years. It’s regrettable that USO and SITCPLA obstructed a similar agreement for our cabin crew which now puts Spanish cabin crew jobs at risk. We have been able to conclude agreements with Unions throughout Europe, including SEPLA, but both USO and SITPLA have to date been incapable of engaging in any realistic way that takes account of the extraordinary challenges facing the airline industry.