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Ryanair closes Canary Islands bases and dismisses 204 pilots and crew

Ryanair closes Canary Islands bases and dismisses 204 pilots and crew
Infamous Irish low-cost airline Ryanair announced on Tuesday that they would begin to apply redundancy regulations today at their Canary Islands bases on Gran Canaria, Tenerife & Lanzarote for the 70 pilots and 134 passenger cabin crew based in the archipelago.

The pilots union, Sepla , has reported that 20 workers, including pilots and cabin crew, have been relocated to other bases, adding that the rest (204 people) have been laid off.

Staff had not however yet received their respective dismissal letters and were only told that they were to report to their respective offices at 5pm this afternoon to return company uniforms and other equipment, and collect a letter of dismissal having been left all day having heard little from the company to confirm the situation, and having been blocked from accessing the company intranet systems.

Though the three Ryanair bases on the island land have been closed, the company has said that it will continue to operate its scheduled routes on the islands normally. Though of course this seems doubtful.

Sepla have described the sudden dismissals as “fraudulent” saying in a press release that negotiations for collective dismissal presented in September ended without agreement between the parties having been “dotted with irregularities from the beginning.”

The union adds that the company “did not provide the workers with the basic documentation necessary to prove” any dismissal.  By law all employers need to inform employees a minimum of 15 days in advance of any termination.

The Sepla, USO and Sitcpla unions, which represent the pilots, ground crew and cabin crew, filed a lawsuit back in December before the National Courts challenging potential dismissal plans.

Ryanair say that the decision to close bases in Girona, Tenerife South, Lanzarote and Gran Canaria, are all due to delays in deliveries of the ill-fated Boeing 737-MAX airliners, along with inefficiency on the three island bases, the high cost of operations and uncertainty about “brexit” and its impact on the Canary Islands.

It seems likely that future flights with the airline from the UK will change or could suffer disruption or even cancellations.

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