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Ryanair Opens Recruitment Drive, Aims to Hire 2,000 Pilots For Expanding Fleet

A Ryanair 737 descends into Milan. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Fabian Behr)

In the lead as Europe’s largest airline, Ryanair has been dominating European countries and markets with its relatively-large fleet and lower airfares, and it announced late last year a massive Boeing 737 MAX aircraft order that totaled to 210 planes.

Being seen as the “game-changer” for Ryanair’s passengers and the rest of Europe, the airline chose to increase the orders as it saw the MAX aircraft to be the most ideal size for expanding and growing the airline’s low fare services over the next decade.

Additionally, the MAX aircraft promises lower carbon dioxide emissions and reduced noise footprints, which would make Ryanair  Europe’s greenest and cleanest airline once the fleet transformation is complete, allowing for the airline to reach its carbon neutral target by the year 2050.

The big order was set to be delivered from American-based aircraft manufacturer Boeing over a four-year period from Spring 2021 till December 2024.

Considered as timely, Ryanair has already taken delivery of its first Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, and an additional 12 are expected well on time for the rising peak of summer air travel this year.

On a Hiring Spree

The environmental aspects of the MAX aircraft have helped Ryanair in reducing expenses with lesser fuel consumption. And as air travel picks up a consistent pace once again, Ryanair has been able to invest more in its manpower as another step towards recovery.

In anticipation for the incoming deliveries, the Dublin-based low-cost carrier announced on Monday about the opening of its recruitment drive for at least 2,000 new aspiring pilots over the next three years.

Additional aircraft means additional flight schedules, which means that these new hires will be flying on the MAX aircraft as an effort for the airline to rebuild its passenger numbers.

People Director for Ryanair Darrell Hughes said, “As we take delivery of more than 210 Boeing 737-8200 game-changer aircraft, Ryanair will recruit 2,000+ pilots over the next 3 years to fill positions created by this growth. This is great news for experienced and aspiring pilots but also for our own pilots who will enjoy fast tracked promotions.”

Existing Ryanair pilots will also benefit from this recruitment drive because, as part of the airline’s career development initiatives, internal promotions will allow for current First Officers to become Captains flying the new aircraft.

The airline has also partnered with Airline Flight Academy in Dublin, whereby training courses will happen all the way through this year in time for Summer of 2022 for positions all over Europe.

This partnership allows for fresh cadets to be given the opportunity to jump-start their flying career with the airline directly.

Hughes also said, “Throughout the pandemic, Ryanair has worked closely with our people to save jobs and we are delighted to start planning for a return to growth over the coming years as we recover from the Covid-19 crisis and grow to 200m guests by FY2026’’.

Hope Amongst Uncertainty

Ryanair isn’t the only airline that has opened up recruitment drives, with several others such as Delta Air Lines and Cathay Pacific having done so as well in the past month as everyone preps for the recovery of air travel.

The news of a hiring spree may come as a spark of hope for countless in the industry, especially as vaccination programs accelerate worldwide allow for more passengers to travel with eased restrictions.

However, there may still be some doubts about the recovery of air travel. Britain’s biggest and busiest airport, London’s Heathrow, announced on Monday that its passenger numbers were still almost 90% down as compared to 2019 and were still much lower than its European rivals.

Other European airports were seeing a rapid increase in cargo volumes, whereas Heathrow still remains down at 16% when compared to its numbers in 2019.

The lack of passengers from the U.S and other E.U. countries has made it hard for Heathrow to sustain numbers, as trade remains closed to these areas.

With unexpected lockdown and volatile restrictions across different countries, it makes it harder for air travel to take a proper step towards recovery as major markets may remain closed off whilst smaller markets remain open.

Charlotte Seet


  • Charlotte Seet

    Fascinated by aircraft from a very young age, Charlotte’s dream was to work alongside the big birds one day. Pursuing her dream, she went on to achieve her diploma in Aviation Management and is currently working on her degree in Aviation Business in Administration with a minor in Air Traffic Management. When she’s not busy with school assignments, you can find her aircraft spotting for long hours at the airport. In Charlotte’s heart, the Queen of the Skies will always be her favorite aircraft.

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