Ryanair's Irish pilots call for fifth strike day

Gladys Abbott
August 5, 2018

The airline's pilots in Germany and Holland have also overwhelmingly backed strike action, but have not yet confirmed any dates for stoppages.

Norwegian is seeking to hire captains and first officers certified to fly Boeing 737 aircraft and will nearly double the number of flight crews at its Dublin base, it said on Friday.

With a fifth strike day looming that meeting appears to be off the table with Ryanair saying it would be "pointless".

Over 1,000 Ryanair flights were cancelled in July due to strikes and other factors, affecting almost 200,000 customers, said Ryanair. It has been forced to cancel flights on high-frequency routes from Ireland and axed 300 flights per day over two days of cabin crew walk-outs last month.

Its shares fell further on Thursday and were down 3.6 percent at 13.02 euros by 1525 GMT, their lowest level since November 2016 and 8 percent below the level hit in December when Ryanair shocked the markets by recognising unions.

Kenny Jacobs, chief marketing officer at Ryanair, commented: "Regrettably, nearly 200,000 Ryanair customers had their flights cancelled in July because of repeated ATC staff shortages in the UK, Germany and France, adverse weather, and unnecessary pilot and cabin crew strikes".

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Ryanair - whose pilots in Sweden, Belgium and the Netherlands have already voted for industrial action - did not respond to media for immediate comment.

Forsa said in a statement: "Ryanair's announcement that it will accept independent third-party assistance in its dispute with pilots, which was made without preconditions, is an unexpected and positive development".

Ryanair, which operates from 86 bases in 37 countries and carried 130 million passengers last year, averted widespread strikes before last with a last-minute U-turn to recognise unions for the first time in its 32-year history.

In a statement, the SEPLA pilots' union said it filed the lawsuit at Spain's top-level National Court after a year of negotiations with Ryanair to employ its members under Spanish rather than Irish legislation failed to bear fruit. Ryanair previously said that all 3,500 customers affected by tomorrow's cancellations were notified last week by either email or text message.

Ryanair has said it will shift jobs and planes to more profitable areas, and threatened to move more if the strikes continue. The airline had also until recently refused to recognize unions, but is gradually doing so as pressure increases.

Ryanair cancelled 24 of around 2,300 daily flights after a second one-day strike by Irish pilots.

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