Ryanair strike: One in six flights cancelled in pilot walkout
10 August, 2018, 11:21 | Author: Eric Barnett
Passengers whose flights have been cancelled will be informed by text or email, but all those travelling to and from the affected countries with Ryanair on Friday are advised to check with the airline.
The number of passengers facing flight cancellations tomorrow has risen to 67,000 as pilots in five countries - including Ireland - are set to hold a 24-hour stoppage.
The walk-out is part of an ongoing dispute over working conditions, which has already seen pilots - who are members of the Irish trade union FORSA - stage four separate one-day strikes.
But Ryanair pilots say they earn less than counterparts at other airlines such as Lufthansa.
Ryanair, which averted widespread strikes before Christmas by agreeing to recognise unions for the first time in its 30-year history, has been unable to quell rising protests since over slow progress in negotiating collective labour agreements.
That topped the 300 flights a day it had to cancel last month when cabin crews in Belgium, Portugal and Spain escalated the staff revolt by going on strike for 48 hours.
Germany will be worst hit by the industrial action, with 250 flight cancellations at ten airports.
A court in the Netherlands has told Ryanair pilots that they can join a wave of strike action planned across Europe for this Friday.
Another key complaint of workers based in countries other than Ireland is the fact that Ryanair employs them under Irish legislation, arguing most of its employees work on Irish planes.
Ryanair has described the strike action as "regrettable and unjustified", claiming its pilots are paid more than other budget airlines.
'Ryanair took every step to minimise the disruption and we notified our customers as early as possible advising them of their free move, refund or reroute options, ' the carrier said.
In the Netherlands, around 22 flights from Eindhoven airport could potentially be affected, the ANP news agency reported.
In a statement, the union said the European pilot strike should be a "wake-up call" for Ryanair management and claimed the legal threat made its decision "easier". He said Ryanair categorically ruled out any such increases at talks.
A spokesman said that despite the walkouts, 85% of Ryanair's scheduled flights, more than 2,000, would operate as normal.
Customers have been notified and a majority of those affected moved to another Ryanair flight, the company said.
But its combative chief executive Michael O'Leary has also warned the airline may shift jobs and planes to more profitable areas if the turmoil continues.
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