Holiday flights could be hit as Ryanair pilots back strike

Boss Michael O’Leary

Boss Michael O’Leary

It comes amid a dispute over the pilots' terms and conditions.

The 24-hour action will take place on 12 July, and could affect holidaymakers during the busy summer period.

After the breakdown of negotiations between the management of low-priced airline Ryanair and representatives of cabin crew staff in Spain, Portugal, Belgium and Italy, it now seems nearly inevitable that flights will be disrupted by strikes during the summer, jeopardizing the travel plans of millions of passengers across Europe.

The union, which said 94 of the 95 ballots returned were in favour of industrial action, has advised Ryanair that it will notify it of additional strike days in due course but also remains available and willing to engage on the issues.

The union says the Dublin-based carrier is not taking its demands seriously over pay and conditions, issues over seniority and how annual leave is dealt with.

The statement said that the pilots backed the industrial action over the management's approach to transferring pilots between its European and African bases.

'When a pilot receives notice of a mandatory base change, or is denied a request for a change of base, such management decisions can have a devastating effect on family life'.


Chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs said: "Regrettably, over 210,000 Ryanair customers had their flights cancelled in June because of four weekends of ATC (air traffic control) strikes and repeated UK, German and French ATC staff shortages".

"Ryanair is already engaged in extensive negotiations with national cabin crew unions across Europe during which all of these, and other issues, are being negotiated and we have already concluded agreements in the United Kingdom and Italy", the spokesman said.

Ryanair crew have warned that they too could be joining their colleagues in strike action next week after after presenting the company's CEO Michael O'Leary with a list of demands.

This compared to 41 cancellations in June past year.

"Ryanair calls for urgent action by the EU Commission and European governments to ameliorate the effect of ATC strikes and staff shortages in the UK, Germany and France from disrupting the travel plans of millions of Europe's consumers this summer".

Its load factor - a measure of how well airlines fill their planes - remained unchanged at 96%.

The airline said yesterday: "Ryanair will communicate next Tuesday by email and SMS text with all customers travelling from Ireland next Thursday if this unnecessary strike goes ahead".

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