Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary desires ‘sensible’ immigration approach

Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary desires ‘sensible’ immigration approach


Michael O'LearyGetty Images

Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary has urged the federal government to take a extra “practical, common sense” approach to post-Brexit coverage, to permit extra employees from Europe to fill vacancies.

Mr O’Leary mentioned he might rent folks from continental Europe for jobs that he can’t fill with British employees, however is unable to get visas for them.

Facilitating such visas would assist ease disruption to air travel, he mentioned.

The authorities mentioned it wished corporations to spend money on employees from the UK.

‘Bizarre scenario’

Mr O’Leary mentioned: “I can hire thousands of people in Portugal, in Italy, France, Germany at exactly the same wages that I’m paying in the UK and I just can’t hire them in the UK at the moment.

“And we’ve got this weird scenario for the time being that within the UK I can get visas to deliver Moroccans to come back in and work as cabin crew. But I can not get visas for Portuguese or Italians or Slovakian kids. We simply want a little bit of extra widespread sense and a sensible approach to how we implement Brexit,” he advised BBC Radio 4.

He said enabling such visas would help ease the disruption currently being felt at some airports, and ease skill shortages in other areas.

“There usually are not sufficient folks within the UK prepared to do these jobs… notably throughout peak durations of the summer season and airports particularly. Airport dealing with workers and airport safety workers are actually struggling to recruit, notably within the southeast, at airports like Gatwick, Heathrow and Manchester.”

Mr O’Leary has made clear his disagreement with Brexit but says he respects the decision to leave the EU.

A authorities spokesperson mentioned: “Leaving the EU enabled us to introduce a points-based immigration system and we wish to see employers make long-term investments within the UK’s home workforce, reminiscent of coaching, wage will increase and higher profession choices, as a substitute of counting on labour from overseas.”

Industry disruption

Despite currently facing industrial disputes in France, Belgium and Spain over pay and conditions, Ryanair has suffered the least disruption and cancellations of major European carriers in recent months.

In the first six months of 2022, Ryanair cancelled 0.3% of flights, compared with British Airways’ total of 3.5%, and Easyjet’s 2.8%, according to air travel consultancy OAG.

Ryanair’s chief claims that displays the “sturdy stability sheet” the airline had going into Covid, which allowed the company to keep staff on, albeit on reduced pay, and maintain training at the height of the pandemic so that they were able to resume operations swiftly when restrictions were lifted.

Queues at Heathrow Airport on 1 June 2022

Getty Images

Mr O’Leary believes relaxing restriction on movement of EU workers across industries facing skills shortages would keep costs lower and so keep prices down for consumers.

“People need good service, they need low costs. And we’d like a aggressive economic system for that. It is solely not acceptable to show round to the overwhelming majority of the British folks and say, with no person to select or to reap the meals, ‘please pay 20% larger meals costs.’”

Critics say that allowing for a wider pool of workers, however, keeps wages down.

And the Department for Transport has previously noted that there has been disruption in many countries due to staff shortages. “It isn’t apparent that reaching for the lever marked ‘extra immigration’ will remedy the issue,” it mentioned.

The Ryanair boss concedes that some travellers are likely to face more disruption over the summer but says that should settle down after the peak period.

“I feel all people would be capable to workers up and equipment up on time so long as we haven’t any antagonistic Covid developments.”

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