Ryanair to close four bases in Spain – in wake of September strikes

Ryanair passengers fall for September - down 64% compared to 2019
Ryanair passengers fall for September - down 64% compared to 2019

By Andrew Atkinson

Ryanair have announced that it is closing four of its bases in Spain – news that comes in the wake of strikes to hit in September.

Ryanair cabin strike dates are September 1, 2, 6, 8, 13, 15, 20, 22, 27 and 29.

Related: Uncertainty over Ryanair strike in Alicante

The strikes will take place after mediation between Ryanair and Union leaders from USO and Sitcpla failed.

In a last ditch attempt at a meeting last week, organised by Spain’s state Arbitrator SIMA – where talks lasted seven hours – ended without an agreement.

Ryanair announced that the low cost airline’s Canary Islands bases in Tenerife, Lanzarote and Gran Canaria would close from January 2020 in the wake of a review showing ‘significant overcapacity in the European short haul market’. Girona is also being closed.

A Ryanair statement said formal notification of collective dismissal proceedings comes after two profit warnings in the past ten months. Figures on the back of a 41% drop in the first quarter.

A delay in Ryanair’s order of Boeing 737 Max aircraft delivery are reportedly to have played a role in the closure decisions.

Ryanair said, following a Commercial ‘review’, a number of bases – including some in Spain – would close from January 8, 2020.

“Our main focus will be on minimising job losses with transfers,” said a Ryanair spokesperson.

Under Spanish law a collective redundancies consultation process would be entered into, with a negotiating commission set up to that effect by September 8.

The USO Union reportedly said Ryanair had informed them – via email – of the impending closures.

Reports also reportedly cite Brexit worries as playing a role in the shock announcement.

USO, who said 512 Spanish based staff were set to lose jobs, have accused Ryanair of ‘dismantling’ its Spanish operations.

“The closures and the lay-offs are not justified. Ryanair will have to provide explanations to the Spanish labour authorities,” said USO secretary Jairo Gonzalo.