Ryanair boss gives up bonus after 2017 flight cancellation crisis

Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary waived his hefty yearly bonus for 2017-2018 following the flight cancellations crisis that gripped the Irish carrier last year.

In the low-fares airline’s annual report released on Monday, Europe’s largest low-cost carrier said that despite record profits in the financial year 2017-2018, chief executive O’Leary decided not to take the bonus he was entitled to.

The bonus can be worth as much as a year’s salary – about €1m for O’Leary. In the previous financial year, his bonus was €950,000. Over the last financial O’Leary was paid €1.06m and was given €1.25m worth of shares in the airline.

The company said O’Leary waived his bonus due to the pilot scheduling mix-up in September 2017 that resulted in a serious labour dispute and some 20,000 flight cancellations.

The crisis led to a u-turn at Ryanair which started negotiations with trade unions in several countries.

The carrier has since struck agreements with several unions, though talks remain tricky in some territories.

Last week, the company faced an unprecedented strike by cabin crew in Italy, Spain, Portugal and Belgium. On Monday its pilots in Germany voted overwhelmingly in favour of striking, adding to Ryanair’s recent labour woes.

In response, on Monday O’Leary threatened to move more jobs to Poland.

Ryanair also announced last week that it was reducing flights from Dublin later this year, warning that up to 300 jobs – 100 pilots and 200 cabin crew – were on the line.


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