Published: Sat, August 11, 2018
Economy | By Shawn Conner

Ryanair braces for biggest ever one-day strike

Ryanair braces for biggest ever one-day strike

The airline said it would be scrapping some 400 out of 2,400 European flights scheduled for today as pilots in Ireland, Germany, Belgium, Sweden and the Netherlands walked off the job.

A spokesperson said: "Ryanair fully complies with all EU261 legislation, however as these flight cancellations were caused by extraordinary circumstances, no compensation is due".

Ryanair has refused to issue a list of the flights cancelled, but The Times understands that at least 50 departures from the United Kingdom have been called off, with more than 250 cancelled in Ireland.

The Irish budget airline said the strikes were "regrettable and unjustified" and called for unions to come back to the negotiating table.

In the Netherlands, Ryanair filed for an urgent court order to try to stop Dutch pilots from joining the industrial action.

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The Irish airline, Europe's largest low-priced carrier, averted widespread strikes before Christmas by agreeing to recognise unions for the first time in its 30-year history.

Labour representatives are seeking collective bargaining agreements in the different countries. But a court said yesterday Ryanair pilots in the Netherlands could not be prevented from doing so.

This includes 78 flights to or from Spain, a move that will affect 14,000 passengers.

The action is the largest in a series of strikes over pay and conditions.

At Charleroi Airport, Belgium's second largest and a major Ryanair hub in the region, striking staff gathered in the departure hall and held up banners reading "Ryanair must change- Respect us".

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It's perhaps one of the most disheartening feelings in the world when you've spent your hard earned cash, done your holiday shopping and told everyone and their dog that you're off to spend a holiday in the sun, to then be told that lift-off isn't quite ready to happen.

At a Frankfurt press conference on Wednesday, Ryanair's chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs said the company's German pilots enjoy "excellent working conditions".

It said it has taken every step to minimise the disruption, adding: "The majority of customers affected have already been re-accommodated on another Ryanair flight".

"We want to again apologise to customers affected by this unnecessary disruption and we ask the striking unions to continue negotiations instead of calling anymore unjustified strikes".

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