Ryanair hires pilots, cabin crew in preparation for a return to Ukraine

Ryanair aircraft in Ukraine
Stanislavskyi / Shutterstock

Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair has launched a recruitment drive to hire aviation specialists from Ukraine.

The Dublin-based airline is hiring pilots and cabin crew so that will be ready to return to its former bases in Ukraine when the ongoing war with Russia ends, chief executive (CEO) Michael O’Leary said in a conference on January 30, 2023, as reported by Reuters.

“We are hiring quite a number of Ukraine pilots and cabin crew specifically so that we can restore bases in Ukraine if and when it is safe to do so. […] We are very committed to returning to Ukraine as soon as it is safe to do so,” the CEO explained.

In March 2022, Michael O’Leary said Ryanair will become the first airline to return to Ukraine after the war ends. At the time, the CEO suspected that commercial flights to the country could be paused until the winter season of 2023.

Before February 24, 2022, when Russia launched its attack on Ukraine, Ryanair had been operating out of five Ukrainian airports on a bilateral basis. The low-cost carrier was considering becoming a major investor in the country’s aviation sector by expanding its services across at least 12 Ukrainian airports and was considering deploying up to 20 passenger planes.

According to the airline’s recently released financial results, in Q3 of FY22/23, Ryanair announced that it had reached a net profit of around $230 million citing “strong pent-up travel demand over the October mid-term and peak Christmas/New Year holiday season”. The airline’s scheduled revenue increased by almost 85% to €1.45 billion during the third quarter, while the total revenue grew by 57% €2.31 billion.

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