RyanAir pilot strike grounds 400 flights across Europe

RyanAir pilot strike grounds 400 flights across Europe

This week it was announced that strike action by pilots across Europe is expected to cause maximum disruption to summer getaways, with around 250 Ryanair flights cancelled.

Another customer said she would miss work meetings and a doctor's appointment due to a cancelled flight.

The country's powerful Cockpit union said it had called on Ryanair's roughly 480 Germany-based pilots to walk out from 3.01am (2.01am Irish time) until 2.59am (1.59am Irish time) on Saturday.

The Irish budget airline said the strikes were "regrettable and unjustified" and called for unions to come back to the negotiating table.

Last month cabin crew on Ryanair flights serving Belgium, Spain, Portugal and Italy downed tools.

A Dutch court on Thursday evening rejected a case from Ryanair seeking to block pilots in the Netherlands from joining the strike, affecting about 22 flights.

The Irish airline, Europe's largest low-priced carrier, averted widespread strikes before Christmas by agreeing to recognise unions for the first time in its 30-year history.

The action is the latest in a series of disagreements between Ryanair management and staff after the firm recognized its employee unions in late 2017 and entered into negotiations. But a court said yesterday Ryanair pilots in the Netherlands could not be prevented from doing so.

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The Ryanair spokesperson continued: "We will first try to accommodate you on the next available Ryanair flight on the same route".

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.

"It's annoying that it's happening in the summer holidays, but it's the only means they have".

He added that Ryanair had already offered a 20 per cent pay rise this year, and 80 per cent of its pilots in Germany were now on permanent contracts.

It has already threatened to move part of its Dublin fleet to Poland, which could cost 300 jobs, including 100 pilot positions.

"In its update, Ryanair said: "[We] 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.

At Charleroi Airport, Belgium's second largest and a major Ryanair hub in the region, striking staff gathered in the departure hall and held up banners reading "Ryanair must change- Respect us".

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