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Ryanair is Snapping Up Houses Close to Dublin Airport to Give Cabin Crew Subsidized Housing

Ryanair is Snapping Up Houses Close to Dublin Airport to Give Cabin Crew Subsidized Housing

Claims: Ryanair Still Isn't Complying with Local Laws in New Cabin Crew Contracts

Europe’s largest low-cost airline Ryanair has been snapping up houses and apartments in a burgeoning town on the outskirts of Dublin in order to give cabin crew access to subsidized housing in easy reach of Dublin Airport.

In recent years, Ryanair has reportedly bought around 40 homes, accounting for as many as 140 bedrooms, although the airline’s decision to go into property management hasn’t been entirely welcomed by some locals.

All of the homes are located in Swords, one of Ireland’s fastest-growing towns, where the supply of homes can’t keep up with demand. Desperate house searchers have complained that Ryanair is quickly snapping up homes, making property searching even more stressful.

Ryanair Group CEO Michael O’Leary has, however, refused to apologise to frustrated house searchers, saying he’s proud of the airline’s decision to start offering subsidized housing to some of the airline’s lowest paid employees.

“I am nothing but proud of it,” the often outspoken O’Leary told a local radio station earlier this week. “What we’re able to do now is to facilitate rental properties that are just one bus stop from Dublin Airport. So it’s easy and adjacent to the airport for our cabin crew”.

O’Leary explained that going into the property market wasn’t entirely a philanthropic decision, saying that while even new-hire cabin crew can afford rental prices, they often find themselves renting in new developments like Citywest which are located on the opposite side of Dublin.

That poses a big problem for the airline when cabin crew can’t make it into work for 5 am flights because they don’t drive and public transport can’t get them to the airport in time for their report.

“If you are renting in Citywest and you need to report to Dublin Airport at 5 O’clock in the morning for an early shift, there is no (public) transport,” O’Leary commented.

“The issue here is we need to have affordable accommodation adjacent to the airport so our people – particularly the crews who have to report early in the morning or who get in late in the evening during the summer – have reasonable and easy access to that accommodation.”

New hire cabin crew get subsidized accommodation for the first year and are then expected to pay market rate following that – which would suggest that Ryanair hopes cabin crew will only take advantage of the accommodation for a short time while they get themselves settled.

“A pilot can rent anywhere,” O’Leary explained. “They are well paid and cabin crew seniors are well paid –  the new arrivals start on the lowest level of pay and we have to have affordable accommodation for them.”

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