Ryanair Set to Hire 2,000 Pilots as Boeing Max Fleet Grows

Ryanair Holdings Plc is starting one of the biggest recruitment drives among European airlines, adding 2,000 pilots over the next three years as the carrier plans to grab market share from rivals weakened by the pandemic.

Europe’s biggest discount carrier needs pilots to fly its new Boeing Co. 737 Max jets, which it began taking last month, Ryanair said Monday. The carrier will start training new hires this year, aiming to have crews ready for next summer.

The Irish carrier is counting on lockdown-weary travelers flocking to the beach this year, and has been adding capacity as it looks to scale up after a near-standstill in flights during the pandemic. Ryanair has 210 Boeing 737 Max jets on order. Ryanair is adding staff as Deutsche Lufthansa AG, Air France-KLM and Portugal’s TAP SA have been cutting jobs.

While European countries began opening for travel this month, the U.K. will lift mandatory quarantines for vaccinated Brits returning from holiday from countries on the U.K.’s so-called amber list starting July 19.

Ryanair shares fell as much as 3.4% and were down 0.9% at 3:32 p.m. in Dublin.

Last year, at the height of the pandemic, Ryanair reached a deal with its pilot and cabin crew unions to cut pay in order to stave off 3,000 job cuts.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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