Skift

Ryanair Looks to South Africa For Pilot Hiring

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    Ryanair has always claimed it doesn’t have problems recruiting pilots and to keep growing it’s going to have to cast the net further afield. With South Africa’s flag carrier struggling, that country is a good choice.

    Ryanair Holdings Plc is starting a recruitment drive for pilots in South Africa as the budget airline seeks crew to helm its expanding fleet of jets.

    The Irish carrier will host roadshows in Johannesburg and Cape Town later this month and is looking to hire captains for Boeing 737s, according to an advertisement on its website. Successful candidates will relocate to Europe and help staff a fleet that’s expected to increase to 580 planes from about 425 over the next six years.

    Air Line Pilots’ Association South Africa is “well aware” of the hiring effort and will hold off on commenting until Ryanair discloses the terms and conditions of any job offers, William Rooken-Smith, president of the Johannesburg-based labor group, said by text message. “Despite recent labor issues, Ryanair is expanding to fill a gap left by failed airlines in Europe, so they would need to recruit in any event,” he said.

    The search for pilots in far-flung countries such as South Africa comes as Dublin-based Ryanair battles with unions in Europe over pay and conditions. While the carrier has reached a deal in the U.K., Chief Executive Officer Michael O’Leary warned this week that he’s prepared to cope with pilot walkouts rather than compromise the company’s low-cost model.

    South African Airways, the country’s unprofitable state-owned carrier, is cutting routes as new CEO Vuyani Jarana seeks to reduce costs. While the majority of its fleet is made up of Airbus SE models, it also includes some Boeing 737s.

    A spokesman for SAA didn’t respond to phone calls seeking comment.

    ©2018 Bloomberg L.P.

    This article was written by Thembisile Dzonzi from Bloomberg and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

    Photo Credit: Ryanair is starting a recruitment drive for pilots in South Africa as the budget airline seeks crew to helm its expanding fleet of jets. Chris Ratcliffe / Bloomberg

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