Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary’s salary has returned to its pre-covid level, according to the airline’s annual report. The Irish Examiner reported that O’Leary earned some 975,000 euros in the last financial year. This is 290% more than the previous year, when he voluntarily halved the fixed part of his salary from 500,000 to 250,000 euros. In addition, he did not receive a bonus that year, which explains the large difference.
O’Leary had voluntarily halved his salary during the crisis, while the pilots had to give up 20% of their pay. This increase in Michael O’Leary’s salary is “a slap in the face for Belgian pilots”, who have no similar prospects, the CNE and ACV Puls unions have stated.
There is enough money to bring the pilots’ salaries back to pre-pandemic levels. It is simply scandalous.CNE and ACV Puls unions
Airlines such as Lufthansa and Brussels Airlines have had to cancel flights and reduce their schedules due to staff shortages and strikes. Ryanair faced industrial actions in Belgium and Spain earlier this summer causing cancellations and disruptions to hundreds of passengers. Despite all the adversities of this year, the war and several strikes across Europe, the airline turned a net profit of €170 million, according to the airline’s most recent financial report.
“There is enough money to bring the pilots’ salaries back to pre-pandemic levels. This is simply a political decision, a choice made by Ryanair. It is simply scandalous,” said Didier Lebbe, permanent secretary of the CNE.
To date, no agreement has been reached between the pilots and Ryanair concerning the return of wages to their previous level. Several strikes, the last one last weekend, have taken place in recent weeks for this reason. According to the Christian union, the company has proposed to return the pilots’ salaries to the pre-Covid level only in 2027. “A frankly absurd proposal, with which the Belgian pilots obviously do not agree,” stated the unions.