If you thought you could enjoy a short respite from the (very drawn out) Brexit debate then think again. Just day’s after the United Kingdom officially left the European Union (EU), there’s now a furore over a Ryanair job ad for cabin crew that would apparently exclude British people from working for the airline at a UK-based airport.
The apparent exclusion of British people from a job in their own country has been used by campaigners to point out the disadvantages the UK now faces because it has left the EU. But all is not what it may at first seem.
Along with being hardworking and flexible, having an outgoing and friendly personality, and being able to swim at least 25 metres unaided, the Ryanair job ad also tells candidates thinking of attending the recruitment Open Day in Manchester that they “must have the unrestricted right to live and work in the EU.”
At the moment, and despite having already left the EU, British applicants will fulfil that minimum requirement but that won’t be the case once a 12-month transition period comes to an end on December 31. At that point, Brits won’t be able to freely move around the EU or work in a European country without restrictions.
In some cases, British people will have to apply for a specific working visa or meet other requirements.
Rather uniquely, Ryanair has set up cabin crew bases in countries around the EU. Cabin crew generally work out of just one base but on occasion, crew are asked to move to another base, sometimes in another country, dependent on operational needs. That’s something that British cabin crew couldn’t do once the transition period finishes.
But this isn’t a rather unsubtle message from Ryanair criticising the UK’s departure from the EU or a way of saying that British candidates will now lose out. Instead, the job ad hasn’t been updated to reflect the new reality yet.
“Currently, we require all cabin crew applicants to have the unrestricted right to live and work in the EU. However, we will revise and update this requirement before the Brexit transition period ends on 31st December 2020,” a spokesperson for the airline explained.
Of course, that still leaves open the possibility of Ryanair excluding British candidates but that seems pretty unrealistic.
More to the point, however, is the fact that Ryanair is still recruiting cabin crew despite warning it would have to make thousands redundant over the Boeing 737MAX debacle. Ryanair has said several times the delay in receiving new aircraft would limit growth and result in mass redundancies – despite those warnings the airline continues to actively recruit new staffers.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently used by some of the biggest names in journalism.