Ryanair strike: One in six flights cancelled in pilot walkout

Kenny Jacobs chief marketing officer of Ryanair during a news conference in Frankfurt Germany

Kenny Jacobs chief marketing officer of Ryanair during a news conference in Frankfurt Germany

Staff in Ireland, Germany, Sweden, Belgium and the Netherlands are holding a 24-hour walkout over pay and conditions. The airline was unsuccessful in its attempt to gain an urgent court order in the Netherlands to prevent its directly employed pilots from the VNV union from striking.

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.

'The majority of customers have already been accommodated on another Ryanair flight.

Ryanair has been rocked by a series of staff strikes in recent months that have forced it to cancel hundreds of flights and sullied its reputation for reliable service. 'The strike may go ahead, ' a judge said.

Last month cabin crew on Ryanair flights serving Belgium, Spain, Portugal and Italy downed tools.

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.

Ryanair, which flies in 37 countries and carried 130 million passengers last year, averted widespread Christmas strikes last year by agreeing to recognise trade unions for the first time in its 33-year history.

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

The company is eyeing profits of around €1.25bn this year, and boasts lower costs per passenger than its competitors.

The unions want the contracts of Ryanair employees to be governed by the laws of the nation where they are based, not by Irish legislation.

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.

At a Frankfurt press conference on Wednesday, Ryanair's chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs said the company's German pilots enjoy "excellent working conditions", earning up to €190,000 annually, which he said was more than their peers at budget rival Eurowings made.

But its combative chief executive Michael O'Leary has also warned the airline may shift jobs and planes to more profitable areas if the turmoil continues. And it has responded to worker demands with its characteristically pugnacious approach.

Ryanair released a statement which reads: "We took every step to minimise the disruption and we notified our customers as early as possible advising them of their free move, refund or reroute options".

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