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6 November, 2019 - 12:59 By Tony Quested

Ryanair warns of job cuts and base closures through jet delivery delay

Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary has warned that job cuts and closure of worst performing bases will be necessary to counter a further two-month delay in delivery of its new Boeing MAX 737 jets allied to soaring fuel costs.

Pilot and cabin crew redundancies could start this winter with up to 900 jobs on the line.

US carriers believe the ill-starred aircraft may not be cleared for take-off again until next year as regulators continue to assess two fatal crashes that triggered a global grounding.

Ryanair has lowered its forecast regarding receipt of the first fleet of jets from 30 to 20 – and that will put the brake on its rapid growth strategy. Ryanair has 210 planes on order. 

O’Leary conceded that “there is a real risk of none. The risk of further delay is rising,” he said after the half-year results were announced.

Ryanair, which is a major player at Stansted Airport, reported a post-tax profit of €1.15 billion for the six months from April to September, its most profitable part of the year. Revenue grew 11 per cent to €5.39 billion. The results were in line with last year and ahead of a forecast of €1.08bn. 

The airline now expects a full-year profit of €800-900m against an earlier forecast of €750-950m and a consensus analyst forecast of €836m. 

Its shares rose strongly on the results as shareholders chose to focus on the many positives and Ryanair’s expansion prospects rather than the damaging Boeing crisis.

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