Ryanair strike hits 55,000 customers across Europe

Andrew Cummings
August 11, 2018

Ryanair pilots are striking in five European countries, forcing the cancellation of a sixth of the firm's flights during the holiday season peak.

The airline says 85 per cent of its Friday flights would operate and that affected customers would get email or text messages later on Wednesday.

"What I find unjustified is that the pilots draw the short straw, because people want to fly cheaply", said Daniel Flamman, one of several passengers Reuters spoke to at Frankfurt airport who said they sympathised with the pilots.

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

Ryanair has described the strike action as "regrettable and unjustified", claiming its pilots are paid more than other budget airlines.


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.

It already suffered a round of strikes by cockpit and cabin crew last month that disrupted 600 flights in Belgium, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain, affecting 100,000 travellers.

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

French news source France Info dubbed the strike "historic", specifying that it is the biggest walkout in the history of Ryanair.

Europe's largest low-priced airline recognized unions in December, but talks have so far failed to produce agreements on improved working conditions, or for contracts to be governed by the laws of the country where workers are based, rather than by Irish legislation.


Staff are holding a 24-hour walkout over pay and conditions.

Another key complaint of workers based in countries other than Ireland is the fact that Ryanair employs them under Irish legislation, arguing most of its employees work on Irish planes. The majority of customers affected have already been re-accommodated on another Ryanair flight.

Around 55,000 passengers would be affected by the strikes, said Ryanair, which has offered customers refunds or the option of rerouting their journey.

Among other issues, they are also seeking changes to Ryanair's practice of moving staff to different bases without much notice, and a reduction in hours.


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