August 23, 2019 / 4:03 PM / a month ago

Ryanair to shut four Spanish base next year: union

FILE PHOTO: A Ryanair Boeing 737-800 aircraft approaches Paris-Beauvais airport in Tille, northern France, September 27, 2018. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Ryanair (RYA.I) has decided to close its Spanish bases in Las Palmas, Tenerife South, Lanzarote and Girona from January, putting the jobs of more than 500 pilots and cabin crew at risk, the local USO union said on Friday.

Ryanair told staff last month it planned to cut its presence on the ground at airports due to delays in the delivery of the grounded Boeing 737 MAX, that has left it with 900 more pilots and crew than it needs.

The airline’s chief people officer told Reuters last week that it would likely close its base in the Portuguese city of Faro and two on the Canary Islands but that a final decision had yet to be made on how many bases, jobs and routes would go.

Ryanair confirmed the closures to the USO union in an email on Friday and also announced the opening of a collective dismissal process, the union said in a statement.

It said 512 workers could be affected by the decision at the four airports, three of which are based in Spain’s Canary Islands and the other on the mainland.

Ryanair, which currently operates around 2,400 daily flights from 87 bases, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

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