Monday, 15 October, 2018

Ryanair Cancels 400 Flights As More Pilots Strike

Kenny Jacobs Ryanair’s chief marketing officer at a news conference in Germany yesterday Kenny Jacobs Ryanair’s chief marketing officer at a news conference in Germany yesterdayRALPH ORLOWSKI REUTERS
Elsie Buchanan | 12 August, 2018, 23:33

Irish low-priced airline Ryanair (RYA.L, RYAAY), which is struggling with ongoing pilot and cabin crew strikes, canceled around 396 flights on Friday because of pilot strikes in five countries.

Ryanair pilots in Germany, Ireland, Sweden, Belgium and the Netherlands went on strike on Friday in the biggest one-day strike Europe's largest low-priced carrier has faced.

Germany will be the country most affected by the strike with 250 flight cancellations across ten airports.

It is understood that 10 flights due to arrive at Stansted Airport from Germany tomorrow have been cancelled, along with the subsequent return flights.

VC president Martin Locher said the union is demanding improvements in pay and working conditions.

A spokesman said that despite the walkouts, the majority of Ryanair's scheduled flights would operate as normal.

Last week, flight compensation firm Airhelp claimed Ryanair is flouting the law by saying it did not have to provide compensation for flights cancelled by strikes.

A court in the Netherlands has told Ryanair pilots that they can join a wave of strike action planned across Europe for this Friday.

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Union VNV is satisfied with the court's ruling, but regrets that Ryanair is flying in "strike breakers" - other pilots to take over the affected flights.

A board showing canceled flights during a wider European strike of Ryanair airline crews to protest slow progress in negotiating a collective labor agreement at Schöenefeld Airport, south of Berlin, Aug. 10, 2018.

Germany's Cockpit union said Ryanair management had failed to respond to this week's deadline for an improved offer, leaving them with no choice but to strike.

"It is precisely because of this legal vacuum that strikes such as this summer at Ryanair are occurring", it claimed.

Three Italian unions representing mainly cabin and ground crew staged a four-hour strike because they were not included in contract negotiations with Ryanair. AOL News reports that "Ryanair planes have a capacity of 189, meaning more than 74,000 passengers could be affected".

Ryanair has said that strike action will hit average fares because it takes up seats that it could otherwise have sold at a high last-minute price.

Ryanair, which flies in 37 countries and carried 130 million passengers last year, averted widespread Christmas strikes last year by agreeing to recognise trade unions for the first time in its 33-year history.

It has cancelled 104 flights to and from Belgium, 22 in Sweden and 20 in Ireland.

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