Ryanair UK cabin crew job cuts have been averted after agreement was reached with the Unite union.

The union hailed the no-frills airline’s ‘constructive’ approach as being in direct contrast to other employers in the aviation sector.

Unite agreed in negotiations that:

  • Workers will have a temporary tiered pay cut; the lowest paid will have a 5% pay cut, then 7.5% and the highest paid will have a 10% pay cut.
  • The pay cuts will be returned in two tranches in 2023 and 2024.
  • The current pay agreement covering increases in wages will be retained and will be phased in from 2023.
  • There will be a review clause which if Ryanair returns to pre-Covid-19 levels of business earlier, the pay cuts can be reversed earlier.

Members of the union have been balloted on the agreement and have voted to accept the pay reductions in order to preserve jobs.

Ryanair announced plans in May to axe 3,000 jobs due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the aviation sector.

Unite has been in talks with the carrier since then to ensure that job losses and the potential closure of Ryanair’s bases in the UK were averted.

The agreement gives the airline a framework to flex its operation during the Covid-19 crisis and a pathway to recovery when the business returns to normal in the years ahead.

Ryanair and its UK pilots accepted a similar deal last week to save jobs with 20% pay cuts and productivity improvements.

“These agreements demonstrate that Ryanair pilots and cabin crew and their unions wish to work with the airline during the Covid-19 crisis where Ryanair will carry 50% less traffic, at significantly lower fares for the foreseeable future,” the carrier said.

Chief executive Eddie Wilson added: “We welcome our cabin crew’s acceptance of the four-year agreement negotiated with Unite on 5%-10% pay cuts to save hundreds of cabin crew jobs in the UK.

“The result of the negotiations with Unite demonstrates the commitment from our cabin crew and their unions in the UK to work with Ryanair as we work our way through this crisis over the next number of years.”

Unite assistant general secretary Diana Holland said: “Unite has been contending with an incredibly difficult set of circumstances in the aviation sector.

“The agreement with Ryanair shows that the company has taken a more constructive and less damaging approach to dealing with the issues than many of its competitor airlines.”

National officer for aviation Oliver Richardson added: “That these reductions are temporary and tiered to ensure the lowest paid are least affected was an important outcome of our negotiations and critical to our members voting to accept the proposals.

“Unite has always maintained that temporary problems require temporary solutions. Ryanair’s management have shown that it is possible to reach an agreement on exactly that basis.

“It is always difficult for members to accept reductions in pay but in order to preserve jobs it is exactly what our cabin crew have agreed to do.”