The airline’s head of talent acquisition Mark Duffy posted a message to LinkedIn commenting on the “unprecedented number of applications” the airline had received for pilot positions.
However, despite the large number of applications, he did not discourage potential candidates from applying.
“We have had an unprecedented number of applications from pilots this (last) week, given the volume of emails we are receiving, in order to process applications efficiently please put in the header your current type rating with your CV attached,” he said.
A type rating is a regulatory body’s certification of an aeroplane pilot to fly a certain type of aircraft, beyond an initial licence and aircraft class training.
Mr Duffy then detailed the three types of pilots the airline was looking for, including Learjet pilots.
“Unfortunately, we are only accepting applications from type rated 737 captains, non-type rated captains and Learjet pilots,” he stated.
An Irish aviation source told the Irish Examiner that “so many assessment days and roadshows globally” had been held in an attempt to “recruit pilots”.
“It’s real panic stuff,” said the source.
Meanwhile, the airline also reached out to former applicants last week via email.
“I am aware that you have passed the Ryanair assessment within the last year and did not join right away.
“I would appreciate if you please answer the following questions,” read the recruitment email.
Former applicants were asked if they had “since joined Ryanair”, and if not, why. They were also asked about their choices of the airline’s 86 bases around Europe, to see if their availability or lack of it was part of their decision not to join.
“If you did not join due to a base not being available, what base was it? If your base preference was available, would you join?” read the email.
Former applicants were then asked, as the final question, when they would be available to start.
These two correspondences are on top of Ryanair offering bonuses to current pilots as well as starting bonuses to prospective ones.
“Ryanair will this winter introduce a one-off bonus of €10,000 for direct entry 737 qualified captains for a seven-month period commencing October 1, 2017 to April 30, 2018,” the airline said last week.
All of this was in light of the mass cancellations the airline began announcing almost two weeks ago.
This day last week Ryanair’s CEO Michael O’Leary held a press conference where he said there was no shortage of pilots, nor had he ever heard of a global shortage of pilots.
He said the issue that caused the cancellation of 103,000 flights affecting 315,000 passengers and costing the airline €25m, was the over-rostering of pilots.
Mr O’Leary said Ryanair had 4,200 pilots working for them.
The airline will aim to recruit and train 600 new pilots in the next 10 months, this is in light of Aer Lingus’s upcoming recruitment drive of 200 pilots and 140 Ryanair pilots having defected to Norwegian Air.
Boeing has already predicted that the aviation industry will need 637,000 pilots by 2036 as economies continue to grow and new markets emerge.
It has also been estimated that Ryanair will need to recruit more than a thousand pilots in order to keep up with its own rate of expansion in the coming years.