Posted on: 08 August 2018
Airports throughout Europe are bracing themselves for major disruptions this weekend following the news that Ryanair is cancelling a further 250 flights on Friday, as it is revealed that German pilots have confirmed a 24-hour walkout following a dispute over pay and conditions.
The budget airline had already cancelled around 150 flights on Friday ahead of pilots’ strikes in Ireland, Belgium and Sweden. Meanwhile Dutch pilots in the Netherlands are still considering calling for strikes.
Some 25,000 passengers are expected to be affected by the cancellations, as are various airports including East Midlands, Manchester, Dublin, Stockholm Skavsta, Stansted, Berlin Schonefeld and Frankfurt .
During a press conference on Wednesday 8 August, Martin Locher, president of Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) – the professional association of cockpit personnel in German – said: “We demand improvements in pay and working conditions.” He also asserted that “improvements are inconceivable without an increase in personnel cockpit costs. During negotiations Ryanair categorically ruled out any such increases. At the same time, Ryanair has not shown any interest to find solutions. It is only Ryanair, which is responsible for the escalation which has now taken place.”
In response to the call for industrial action, Ryanair’s chief marketing officer, Kenny Jacobs said: “We regret the decision of the VC to go ahead with this unnecessary strike action…. Our pilots in Germany enjoy excellent working conditions. They are paid up to €190,000 per year and, as well as additional benefits, they received a 20% pay increase at the start of this year.”
He added that “we asked VC to provide us with at least seven days’ notice of any planned strike action so that we could notify our customers of cancelled flights in advance and offer them alternative flights or refunds, but they have refused to do this and instead call an unnecessary strike in Germany in just two days’ time.”
The pilots’ strikes follow a summer of strife for the low-fare carrier which has also been affected by Air Traffic Control (ATC) strikes in France and elsewhere in Europe.
Written by: Chloe Greenbank
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