Strike-hit Ryanair warns of job losses as airline cuts Dublin-based fleet

Passengers queue at a Ryanair customer service counter at El Prat airport in Barcelona on Wednesday, July 25, as the airline's cabin crew began a two-day strike. (AFP)
Updated 25 July 2018

Strike-hit Ryanair warns of job losses as airline cuts Dublin-based fleet

DUBLIN: Irish airline Ryanair has told over 300 over pilots and cabin crew that they may lose their jobs as it cuts its Dublin-based fleet by 20 percent for the winter season after recent strikes hurt forward bookings.
The low cost carrier, Europe’s largest by passenger numbers, is in the middle of its worst week of stoppages in more than three decades of flying as it struggles in talks with trade unions whom it has decided to recognize for the first time.
Cabin crew in Italy, Spain, Portugal and Belgium went on strike on Wednesday and around a quarter of Ryanair’s Dublin-based pilots carried out their third 24-hour stoppage in the space of two weeks on Tuesday.
Ryanair said it expected few route closures from Dublin as a result of reducing the fleet in its home base to 24 from 30, but that some routes may suffer frequency reductions as it moves the aircraft to its Polish airline, Ryanair Sun, which it said was enjoying rapid growth.
It will begin redundancy consultations with over 100 Dublin pilots and more than 200 cabin crew who were issued with 90-day protective notice. Transfers to Poland will be offered in order to minimize any redundancies, Ryanair added.
“If our reputation for reliability or forward bookings is affected, then base and potential job cuts such as these at Dublin are a deeply regretted consequence,” Ryanair Chief Operating Officer Peter Bellew said in a statement.


Cathay Pacific shelves US dollar bond plans amid Hong Kong unrest

Updated 3 min 55 sec ago

Cathay Pacific shelves US dollar bond plans amid Hong Kong unrest

SINGAPORE: Cathay Pacific Airways has shelved plans for its first US dollar debt deal in 23 years, the airline said on Friday, after sources told Reuters that global investors had questioned the pricing due to civil unrest in Hong Kong.

The airline, the biggest corporate casualty of widespread anti-government protests in the Asian financial hub, on Friday lowered its second-half profit expectations, citing “incredibly challenging” conditions in its home market.

Cathay had started meeting investors in Hong Kong and Singapore on Sept. 24 after it mandated four banks to explore carrying out a US dollar denominated bond, according to a term sheet issued at the time, seen by Reuters.

It would have been the first US dollar debt deal for Cathay since 1996 and had been touted as a landmark transaction for the airline given all of its debt is denominated in Hong Kong dollars.

The issuance was to be unrated, and two sources with knowledge of the matter said that Cathay was willing to pay 200 basis points over the US Treasuries rate to secure three-year or five-year funding, with the size and term of the placement dependent on demand.

FASTFACT

12

Cathay has only carried out 12 bond transactions in the past decade and all were priced in Hong Kong dollars.

However, investors demanded a higher price of at least 300 basis points over US Treasuries, which made the deal more expensive for Cathay, said the sources, who were not authorized to speak publicly about the matter. Cathay’s term sheet had said the transaction would be reliant on market conditions. A Cathay spokesman on Friday said the Hong Kong dollar private placement market was providing more funding opportunities and a debt issuance in that market was completed last month. “We will continue to monitor the US dollar bond market in future,” he said in a statement.

Dealogic data showed that Cathay raised $102 million in October and $64 million in May through Hong Kong dollar denominated deals.

The airline has only carried out 12 bond transactions in the past decade and all were priced in Hong Kong dollars.

Cathay had mandated Bank of America Merrill Lynch, BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank and HSBC to work on the shelved US dollar bond deal.