Sunday, 22 July, 2018

Holiday flights under threat as Ryanair pilots support strike action

Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary
Priscilla Morrison | 14 July, 2018, 14:26

Cabin crew from across Europe could follow suit at some stage.

Pilots in Ireland, where Europe's biggest low-priced airline is based, voted 94 to 1 in favor of industrial action including strikes, a spokesman for the Irish Air Line Pilots' Association said on Tuesday, confirming a Bloomberg News report. There are already warnings that cabin crew could join pilots in a walkout if their demands are not met.

Budget airline Ryanair has said over 1,100 flights were cancelled in June due to air traffic control strikes and staff shortages across the UK, France and Germany. The airline has refused to link the discounts to the threat of strikes, but it is common policy among all low-priced airlines to reduce prices when sales are slow, and it is hard not to make the connection. Elsewhere, however, progress has been much slower.

"The charter contains demands on economic conditions, safety and rostering, a fair and supportive work culture, agency employment, the right to sick pay and sales targets", the ITF said.

VC said that since previous talks on improved working and salary conditions failed, exploratory talks were underway to explore whether "results could still be achieved before strikes might take place".

Ryanair has around 100 directly employed pilots in Ireland with another 200 on personal services contracts.

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Despite this being the norm with other airlines, it is not a policy that Ryanair have adopted.

The International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF), a union body that represents crew at the vast majority of Ryanair's bases, has kick-started a campaign to come to the aid of Ryanair's cabin crew.

Ryanair has not commented on the industrial action. Earlier this year, the airline attempted to break a cabin crew strike in Portugal by using staff and crew from neighbouring Spain to fill some of its schedules.

The decision to strike comes hours after the airline revealed air traffic control strikes left more than 210,000 passengers with cancelled flights in June.

It is likely to affect thousands of holidaymakers who travel to Dublin for flights at that time of year.

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