LONDON – Over the past few days, European LCC (low-cost carrier), Ryanair, has released several announcements detailing Dublin’s Security delays, ETS taxes and their agreement with their UK pilots union.
The Dublin Delays
Over the past few weeks, it has surfaced through social media that Dublin Airport (DUB) is suffering heavily from flight delays, with pictures showing queues that even extend out of the airports terminal buildings.
This has of course been very frustrating for many passengers, having knock-on effects that have caused further flight delays, passengers to miss connecting flights and even some flight cancellations.
During this period the Irish Government has been analysing solutions to help ease the situation at Dublin Airport that has primarily been caused due to lack of security staff.
In the past few days the Irish Government has made an announcement whereby it will be sending in its Defence Forces to assist with the security processing until the end of the summer period.
Welcoming the news for the Army to assist at Dublin, Ryanair’s Chief Executive Officer, Eddie Wilson, says, “Ryanair welcomes the Irish Govt’s decision to use the Defence Forces to support DAA Airport Security.”
“This is a hugely positive step forward for Irish passengers who have had to deal with uncertainty and long delays especially at the start of the summer season.”
“The Defence Forces will free up 100 of the DAA’s security staff who gave done a great job but need the support of the Army particularly at weekends so that passengers and families can get through the airport quickly and enjoy a well-deserved break.”
Condemning Long-Haul ETS Taxes Vote
On June 28, there was a vote held by the Council of the European Union (EU) where EU Environmental Ministers have voted to block long-haul flights that depart from the EU from being stung by ETS (Emissions Trading Scheme) taxes.
It is said that long-haul flights from the EU account for over 50% of aviation emissions from the EU, which is of course more than the EU’s short-haul network.
The latest vote means that short-haul passengers will have to pay 100% of ETS taxes, given the fact that long-haul services, where most of the wealthiest people travel, has now been made exempt from this scheme.
Ryanair have said that this is “blatantly unfair” and “deeply hypocritical”, for those who can only afford short-haul services and will have to suffer more taxes on their air fares, ultimately driving up costs.
Ryanair Group Chief Executive Officer, Michael O’Leary, said, “Today’s EU Council vote of environment Ministers is inexplicable and indefensible.”
“These environment Ministers of Germany, Holland, France, Spain, and others should now explain why they exempt rich long-haul passengers from paying any environment taxes, while hard-pressed European consumers and their families on short-haul flights, who account for less than 50% of Europe’s aviation CO2 emissions, but pay 100% of the environment taxes.”
“These EU Environment Ministers have yet again failed their citizens today with their vote to preserve this broken environmental policy which, unless reserved, will enable the richest visitors to/from Europe travelling on the most polluting long-haul flights to evade any environmental taxes, while Europe’s hard-pressed consumers and their families, pay an unfair burden of 100%.”
“Ryanair now calls on EU’s Member States to reserve this deeply hypocritical position and endorse the European Parliament’s vote to apply ETS to all long-haul flights departing Europe.”
“Europe’s “Green Deal” Commissioner Frans Timmermans should also support this extension of the ETS and finally require high-fare flag carriers like KLM, Air France and Lufthansa to pay their fair share of ETS taxes by including their long-haul flights, that account for more than 50% of European aviation CO2 emissions, within Europe’s ETS regime.”
UK Pilots Union Agreement
On June 30, it was announced that Ryanair has finally come to an agreement on its post-Covid pay restoration for its UK based pilots, with their union, BALPA.
Ryanair’s new pay agreement with BALPA will mean that UK based pilots will have their pay restoration accelerated whilst also receiving pay rises up until 2026. This agreement has come from a recent ballot showing Ryanair’s pilots welcoming the news from their company.
For 2022, Ryanair is expecting to grow to 115% of its pre-Covid capacity, and as such, the new pay agreement for pilots will provide further job stability as well as a foundation to grow their careers. This is certainly welcome news for many of Ryanair’s UK based pilots.
Commenting on the new agreement with BALPA, Ryanair’s People Director, Darrell Hughes, has said, “We welcome the outcome of this ballot of our UK pilots which has shown strong support for the agreement negotiated with BALPA.”
“While the recovery from the impact of the pandemic is still ongoing and our industry faces significant challenges, this long-term agreement delivers stability, accelerated pay restoration, future pay increases and other benefit improvements for our UK pilots.”
“While 100% of our pilots across our European network are covered by 2020 Emergency Agreements, we continue to work with our pilots and their unions on new deals, similar to this one concluded with BALPA, and have successfully re-negotiated improved long-term agreements with 70% of our pilots, running until 2026 or 2027 as we prioritise pay restoration.”