Ryanair has warned jobs could be lost as it cuts the number of planes stationed in some of the countries where it faces strike action.
It made the threat as first-quarter profit slumped by a fifth amid rising oil prices and employment costs, including a 20% pay increase for pilots.
The Irish low-cost carrier said profit fell 20% to €319m (£284.8m) in the first three months of its financial year to 30 June, compared to a profit of €397m in the same period a year earlier.
Ryainair, which was forced to recognise unions in December for the first time in its 32-year history, is facing strikes in many of the countries it operates in over pay and conditions.
Irish pilots are expected to strike for the third time on Tuesday and Belgian, Portugese and Spanish cabin crews are to strike on 25 and 26 July.
Over 300 flights have been cancelled from its daily schedule of 2,400 on Wednesday and Thursday.
“While we continue to actively engage with pilot and cabin crew unions across Europe, we expect further strikes over the peak summer period as we are not prepared to concede to unreasonable demands that will compromise either our low fares or our highly efficient model,” the company said in a statement.
It continued: “If these unnecessary strikes continue to damage customer confidence and forward prices/yields in certain country markets then we will have to review our winter schedule, which may lead to fleet reductions at disrupted bases and job losses in markets where competitor employees are interfering in our negotiations with our people and their unions.
“We cannot allow our customers flights to be unnecessarily disrupted by a tiny minority of pilots.”
First quarter “staff costs increased by 34% primarily due to pilot 20% pay increases, 9% more flight hours and a 3% general pay increase for non-flight staff,” the airline said in a statement.
It has also been forced to cancel more than 2,500 flights due to air traffic control staff shortages in the UK, Germany and Greece and strikes in France, which added to its costs, the company said.
It added: “Fuel prices have risen substantially from $50pbl (per barrel) at this time last year to almost $80pbl in Q1. While we are 90% hedged at $58pbl our unhedged balance will see our full year fuel bill increase by at least €430m.”
Ryanair’s stock fell more than 5% in early trading as it warned average fares would lower than expected during the summer due to increased competition and strikes.
From – SkyNews