Ryanair strike brings misery to 70,000 holidaymakers as 400 flights cancelled

10 Août, 2018, 13:38 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Ryanair pilots on strike in Dublin last month

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.

In response to unions serving Ryanair strike notices, Europe's largest low-priced carrier has announced in recent days the cancellations of 250 flights in and out Germany, 104 to and from Belgium and another 42 in Sweden and its home market of Ireland, where around a quarter of its pilots were staging their fifth 24-hour walkout.

Ryanair, which averted widespread strikes by agreeing to recognise unions for the first time in its 30-year history, has been unable to quell rising protests over negotiating collective labour agreements.

Passengers whose flights have been cancelled will be informed by text or email, but all those travelling to and from the affected countries with Ryanair on Friday are advised to check with the airline.

Apologising to customers, Ryanair said in a statement that it took every step to minimise the disruption and called on striking unions to continue negotiations instead of calling any more "unjustified strikes".

That was because the strikes were hurting bookings, Ryanair said, and although it was too early to assess the impact elsewhere, it added that the action will hit average fares from having to move customers to flights it could otherwise have sold at a high last-minute price.

One customer described the airline as a "headache", complaining they had had difficulty getting a quick response after contacting the firm on their live chat service.

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Nearly 400 flights have been grounded across Europe, with that figure set to rise sharply with pilots in the Netherlands deciding to join the walkout yesterday. They offer me to change my tickets online which it's not possible due to their system crash.

The Irish budget airline said around 55,000 passengers would be affected by the strikes, and they have been offered refunds or the option of rerouting their journey. "Ryanair is an headache".

She wrote: "Many thanks to Ryanair for cancelling my flight home + ensuring all of the de-stressing I have done on this trip is cancelled out in an instant".

While it has recognized unions, the airline has yet to sign any labor contracts.

Under the agreement, the British Airline Pilots' Association (Balpa) was recognised as the sole trade union representing all of Ryanair's 600 employed pilots based in the UK.

Ingolf Schumacher, pay negotiator at Germany's Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) union, said pilots had to be prepared for "a very long battle" and that it could take months to push through change at Europe's largest low-priced carrier.

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