Published: Sat, August 11, 2018
Markets | By Otis Pena

Ryanair flights grounded as pilots strike

Ryanair flights grounded as pilots strike

Up to 50,000 passengers faced travel misery on Friday after Ryanair announced it would have to cancel around 400 flights as a result of industrial action.

The company says 85% of its scheduled flights will operate as normal on Saturday and the majority of customers affected have been given places on other Ryanair flights.

Anyone whose flight is expected to be disrupted will receive an email or SMS text advising them of the news, Ryanair said, with the status of individual flights able to be checked on its website.

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

Germany will be worst hit, with 250 cancellations at ten airports after the country's Cockpit union called on pilots towalk out from 3.01am local time (2.01am BST).

The airline will hold talks via a mediator on Monday with the Irish pilots union, which said it had no current plans for further strikes.

In July, around 300 flights were cancelled in similar strikes in Portugal, Spain and Belgium.

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.

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A year ago it agreed to recognise unions for the first time but it is in a dispute over collective labour agreements.

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.

The unions want the contracts of Ryanair employees to be governed by the laws of the nation where they are based, not by Irish legislation.

But some people took to Twitter to complain at how Ryanair handled the debacle after their flights were canceled.

He said they earn up to €190,000 (£170,000), which was more than their peers at budget rival Eurowings made.

'The majority of customers have already been accommodated on another Ryanair flight.

Kenny Jacobs, Ryanair marketing director, called the strike "useless", and said that Ryanair pilots are paid better than their counterparts at competitor airlines Easyjet or Norwegian.

The unrest is one of the biggest challenges to face long-term chief executive Michael O'Leary, who was once quoted as saying he would rather cut off his hand than recognise unions and on another occasion crossed a picket line of baggage handlers to help load a plane.

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