Ryanair – just doing it!

Last June 4th in Brussels was held "A Social agenda for transport", a high-level Conference where John Horne laid bare aviation's challenges once again, until...

Today, we will confront facts yet again and see what this Michael Hickey is all about.

Initial claims

Time and again, regarding bogus self-employment, pay-to-fly and social dumping in general, we quote:

"[Ryanair doesn't comment on] false claims and anonymous surveys [that are] total rubbish [with] no basis in fact or evidence. Since Ryanair only recruits fully qualified pilots, no Ryanair pilots 'pay to fly'. These pilot union claims are simply untrue [...] [It is] false accusations [...] none of the Ryanair pilots pay-to-fly"

Reality check

First, if all the recruits at Ryanair are "fully qualified", it is rather bizarre some are referred to as "cadets" entitled to pay their B737 NG type ratings €29,500 (TR - an aircraft qualification), £260 non-refundable assessment fee (CAE's cut?) excluded.

Let's assume those are not the pilots Robien Kiely was referring to, mentionning (directly) employed pilots rather than "self-employed" ones.
Indeed as of october 5th 2012 for instance...
full screen

...689 pilots were self-employed, becoming "Company Representatives" for their own Limited Companies through one of the following "accountants" (all in Ireland of course):

One can have a look at one of them, O'Connor & Associates' modus operandi described by themselves for instance (oops, looks like Italy lost some tax revenue).

How does Ryanair hire those pilots Company Representatives? Simple, it does not!
(oh I'm sorry, was that document confidential?) full screen

Instead, the hirer ("Ryanair Plc") pays the services of an independent contractor (Brookfield here) which in turn engages the independent Service Company operated by none other than the Company Representative, aka the pilot!

In other words, Mr O'Leary's (and his minions') left hand doesn't know what his right hand is doing (at least that's what our legal system is buying)!


Coming back to Ryanair's Brookfield's "self employed" pilots err... I mean "Service Companies", item 5 of their contract:

"The Company Representative will be responsible for the cost of the line training flights [...] The charge of €20 psbh [per schedule block hour] is payable for all flights operated until the end of the calendar month that the company representative is line checked."

Which means once translated into english:

"Pilots will pay line adaptation flights at a rate of €20 per scheduled block hour until the end of the month they are officially accustomed to their aircraft" [up to €150 provided 5.a or 5.b]

Meaning only one thing:
Michael Hickey was right to be pissed! There is no pay-to-fly going on at Ryanair's, it's Brookfield that does it on their behalf! Oh wait...

Posted by Cockpit Seeker

Filed under: p2f Leave a comment
Comments (11) Trackbacks (0)
  1. You should read again the terms and conditions my friend , the sentence which starts with : a full charge of 150 euros will be …. (page 6) before writing such a long post ! 🙂

    • Hi! The full charge” will be payable “if”… doesn’t negate the fact block hours remain partially supported by the “company representative”:
      “€20 psbh […] payable for all flights operated until the end of the calendar month that the company representative is line checked” (the sentence before your quote)

      Maybe this sentence reflects better the point, thanks!

  2. Translated to real life: at the end of the month the one who finds money in his bank account is the pilot, who’s simply paid less until fully released to the line. The cash flow is from the airline to the “company representative”, although the modus operandi as you wrote is not crystal clear.

    • Your average pilot today is indeed the one with the thickest wallet/debt.
      He is not simply paid less as you said, but also arbitrarily pays a sum of money while performing duty on revenue-generating airline flights, and there’s a big difference.

      In terms of cash flow, the other way round is true in this particular case (the “company representative” pays €20 to the airline), let alone the payment of the type rating, to the benefit of the airline…

      • The only financial transaction that exists at the end of the month is the one through which Ryanair transfers money to the cadet pilot. Everything else is just legalese, and the 28.500€ for the TR are paid to CAE, not FR.

        • 1. Neither the article, nor the comment say the TR is paid to FR (by the way we both know a B737NG one at 29k€ is overpriced). FR not contributing to it is “to their [the airline’s] benefit”, but you can try to challenge that.

          2. We don’t know the agreement of CAE as to the TR, which is why we didn’t elaborate. Feel free to send us a contract if you seriously intend to back your claims.

          3. Bear with us a second. As per the contract, if a “company representative” succeeded his line check, say, the 1st this month, he would have to pay those €20 psbh “until the end of the calendar month”, meaning 29 whole days after his LT is completed… for what service exactly?
          The number of transaction is irrelevant since the p2f sums can be concealed/deducted from a one time payment for salary, and they are. We quote This amount [the €20 psbh] will be netted against the monthly payment that the Service Company [the pilot’s limited company] receives from the Contractor [Brookfield]”

          Hiding the p2f transactions doesn’t mean it’s not happening.

          Nice try 😉

  3. Please stop distorting the reality. The “company representative” pays 20€ to the “airline” and at the same time (yes at the same time) the “airline” pays 60€ to the “company representative”. A pilot during line training earn 40€ per hours. Where is the P2F?

    • We didn’t say pilots were not paid. We said they pay to fly, and they do, as per the aforementioned contract, regardlesss of what happens “at the same time”.

      Be it 20€ or 150, where in this world do you think pilots should financially retribute their Airlines while working? At least at Ryanair I guess.

      • “We said they pay to fly, and they do.” But they DON’T. A pilot working for Ryanair earns 40€ per hour during line training. Can you have the intellectual honesty to admit your mistake?

        • Quoting yourself: The “company representative” pays 20€ to the “airline” and at the same time […]”

          You should choose your words more carefully. This conversation is over I’m afraid.

          Our best regards.

          • You only choose to quote the part that interest you. You don’t want to see the contact as a whole.

            There is no more to say.

            I think people reading your conversation will see which one of us is of bad faith.

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