"Ryanair’s Board today (25 July) approved a plan to cut its Dublin based fleet from 30 to (at most) 24 aircraft for the winter 2018 season. These reductions have been driven by the rapid growth of Ryanair’s Polish charter airline, which is growing profitably in 2018, allied to a down turn in forward bookings and airfares in Ireland partly as a result of recent rolling strikes by Irish pilots, which has had a negative effect on (close-in) high fare bookings and forward air fares as consumer confidence in the reliability of our Irish flight schedules has been disturbed," the company said in a statement, posted on its website.
According to the statement, the airline will begin internal discussions about dismissals, seeing as they might affect more than 100 pilots and over 200 crew employees starting from October 28.
The airline also noted that it expected "few route closures from Dublin" and possible "frequency reductions" on certain routes.
The airline has been involved in a dispute over base transfers, seniority and leave with its trade union for over a year, but the pilots claim that Ryanair fails to respond to any of the employees' demands and continue regular strikes. For instance, last week, Ryanair announced that it had to cancel 5 percent of almost 300 Irish flights on July 24 because the Irish trade union FORSA "again has failed to answer our call to cancel the 3rd strike."
Ryanair is the largest low-cost airline company in Europe and its route network serves over 200 destinations in 34 countries in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.