Budget airline Ryanair is to create more than 3,500 new jobs next year, including pilots and cabin crew, as it plans to add 50 new aircraft to its fleet.
The Irish carrier said the major recruitment drive would see it take on 2,000 new cabin crew, 1,000 pilots and 250 aircraft engineers.
Ryanair remained tight-lipped on how many of the roles would be based in the UK, having warned in July that it would “pivot” growth away from UK airports after the Brexit vote and house its 50 new aircraft outside Britain.
The group said only that recruitment would be “spread throughout Ryanair’s 84-base European network”.
Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary has been an outspoken critic of Brexit and warned earlier this month that airlines were delaying investment decisions in the UK until there was more clarity on negotiations over the UK’s exit from the EU.
The airline’s initial recruitment plans come as part of a wider aim to boost its aircraft numbers from 355 to more than 500 in the next five years, which will see it hire more than 5,000 extra staff.
Next year’s hiring spree will also see new posts created in IT, sales and marketing, finance and commercial divisions at Ryanair’s Dublin office - and also at its Travel Labs Poland subsidiary in Wroclaw.
Eddie Wilson, chief people officer at Ryanair, said: “2017 is set to be our busiest recruitment year to date, and we are continuing to invest heavily in talent for the future.”
Its announcement also came as traffic figures showed Ryanair flew 13% more passengers year-on-year in September, at 10.8 million.
The group’s load factor - a key measure of how well it filled its planes - edged up to 95% last month from 94% a year earlier.
It expects average fares to drop by between 10% to 12% over the next six months.
Ryanair later confirmed a number of engineering jobs would be created in Glasgow Prestwick Airport and some cabin crew posts at its 13 UK airport bases.