Ryanair pilots strike in Germany, 4 other countries


Dozens of Ryanair flights into and out of United Kingdom will not take place as scheduled on Friday as a result of a strike by pilots in Europe.

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 worst hit by the industrial action, with 250 flight cancellations at 10 airports.

"Had I not checked, I would have arrived at the airport only to find my flight being cancelled".

Despite the walkouts, 85 per cent of its scheduled flights - more than 2,000 - will operate as normal, Ryanair said.

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.

Dutch pilots' union VNV also called for a strike on Friday, after Ryanair said it was going to court on Thursday to try to prevent the Dutch pilots from striking over the summer. Ryanair pilots earn at least 30% more than Eurowings and 20% more than Norwegian pilots.

In the statement Ryanair said "This irresponsible action, created to cause the maximum damage to Ryanair, more disruption and harm to its passengers, is indicative of FORSA's agenda, which is not to seek a resolution of Ryanair pilots actual concerns, but rather to advantage its competitors and in particular Aer Lingus".

"In its letter to VC dated last week, Ryanair management confined itself to repeating and summarising what they considered to be the most relevant negotiating positions instead", the union said.

VC president Martin Locher said Ryanair had "categorically ruled out" any increase in cockpit personnel costs, and that the airline had not shown any interest in finding solutions.

Ryanair have not provided a conclusive list of flights which have been cancelled due to the strike. "Ryanair alone is to blame for the escalation of the situation which has now occurred".

"If this isn't available on the same or next day then we will accommodate you to your end destination on airlines with whom we have a reciprocal agreement".

The Dutch pilots will now join their colleagues in Ireland, Sweden, Germany and Belgium in the 24-hour work stoppage.

Ryanair has repeatedly said it remains open to further talks with pilot representatives.

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

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