Ryanair Pilot said:
I am one of the ryanair pilots, so I speak from experience and what I say here is fact not spun out fiction.
There are many implications relating to the Brookfied Aviation contractors associated with Ryanair, some of which may not be obvious to the general public and the fare paying customers of Ryanair.
The whole reason that Brookfied Aviation was set up was so that Ryanair could shy away from it’s social welfare contributions as stated above and so that the pilots would have no employment rights. The manager of Brookfield Aviation is the ex-head of Ryanair HR, Declan Dooney. Mr. Dooney left Ryanair to set up the desired pilot contract workforce for Ryanair and this has grown to a massive scale due to the percentage of contractor pilots currently in Ryanair, about 65%. Various government bodies around Europe (excluding the UK) have questioned the legality of this practice and this is why the pilots are now forced to set up limited companies in Dublin with one of three Brookfield selected accountants (who take a mandatory 3% from their salaries) so that they can pay their taxes in Ireland, this is how they pacified the Irish Government. The limited company idea is only a temporary reprieve for them because Brookfield is only enforcing the new terms onto new pilots and allowing the existing contractors to remain on any scheme that they wish, even when their contracts are being renewed. There are hundreds of Brookfield pilots either not paying tax at all or paying through offshore dubious schemes in the IOM, Jersey, etc. In many cases these are people who live and work in the UK, so the UK government is missing out on a lot of tax and appears to be less interested than many other European counties, despite the fact that we are supposed to be cracking down on all illegal tax schemes.
So, the financial effect is the more obvious but there are more important effects to. The pilots are paid by the flying hour and their volume of work is totally dependant on the rostering department of Ryanair giving them some work. Often pilots are not being paid much money, especially in the winter months. Due to inconsistent income and pilots who are running into financial difficulties, often unable to pay their mortgages etc. result = PILOT STRESS.
The pilots are NOT allowed to seek work elsewhere because when they are not rostered for work they are on standby for the company to use them at a moments notice if they wish, this is every airline’s operational requirement but all other airlines pay a salary for that privilege. Some pilots in these winter months are flying two may be three days per month which means that they are earning less than £1000 per month, result = PILOT STRESS.
There is no sick pay, so human nature is to go to work when one is not really up to it, I’ve seen people in work very ill indeed. Despite the fact that the pilots are not employed by Ryanair they have to provide an official doctor’s sick note for any sickness whatsoever.
Brookfield pilots are often rostered to work from another European base at very short notice, they have to pay all associated travel and hotel costs themselves upfront even if they haven’t been earning any money for several months and therefore can’t afford to do so, result = PILOT STRESS. When rostered to fly from another base the days spent getting to and from that base are known in the industry as “duty days” There are certain legal flight time limitations in place to prevent pilots being fatigued and therefore not safe to fly, one of those limitations is the number consecutive duty days in a certain period and another is the length of each duty day. Ryanair refuses to accept that the days spent travelling are in fact duty days, but it clearly states in the official legal documentation that any days spent travelling at the behest of the company are “duty days” This can easily be conformed with the Civil Aviation Authority. result = PILOT STRESS and FLIGHT SAFETY ISSUE.
You may be wondering why I and many others put up with it, its because there is nothing else available in the UK which is why many UK pilots are now seeking employment in the Middle and Far East.
All in all I have used the phrases PILOT STRESS and FLIGHT SAFETY ISSUE where appropriate but PILOT STRESS is in itself a FLIGHT SAFETY ISSUE so the hidden effect of the illegal contractor pilots and dictatorship attitude is FLIGHT SAFETY and should be addressed by the Civil Aviation Authority and The Irish Aviation Authority before it’s too late, its unsafe! The Irish Aviation Authority appears to be entirely disinterested in the wrong doings of Ryanair due to its very close relationship with Mr O’Leary and his fellow directors.
If any journalist were to challenge Ryanair on these issues I’m sure that they would refuse to comment because this is all based on fact and they couldn’t possibly justify any of it.