Ryanair cancellations ‘possible’ due to Portugal strike

Union representatives say the strikes are motivated by below-par labour conditions

Ryanair has scheduled 90 flights to and from Portugal for Thursday, chief executive Michael O’Leary said.

Ryanair has scheduled 90 flights to and from Portugal for Thursday, chief executive Michael O’Leary said.

 

Ryanair cannot rule out flight cancellations due to a planned cabin crew strike in Portugal during the Easter holidays but expects any disruptions to be small, its chief executive said at a news conference in Vienna on Wednesday.

Portuguese union representatives have said the strikes are motivated by below-par labour conditions, including disciplinary processes and threats for not reaching in-flight sales objectives.

Asked whether there will be flight cancellations, Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary, who was in Vienna to promote the airline’s new partnership with Austrian airline Laudamotion, said: “It depends on how many disruptions there are. We can’t rule it out but it will be small scale.”

Ryanair had scheduled 90 flights to and from Portugal for Thursday, he said.

Mr O’Leary also announced details of Laudamotion’s summer schedule. It bought a 24.9 per cent stake in the airline last week with a view to increasing it to 75 per cent subject to approval by the EU Competition Authority.

The schedule will involve a total of 21 aircraft operating from nine cities in Austria, Switzerland and Germany from June.

Ryanair said the aim of the partnership with Laudamotion was to establish it as an Austrian low-fare airline for the scheduled and charter market.

Laudamotion has a fleet of 10 Airbus aircraft. Ryanair will provide financial and management support to it as well as six wet-lease aircraft for summer to enable it to complete its flying programme.

Mr O’Leary said Laudamotion was in “pole position” to expand in both the scheduled and charter markets in Austria, Germany and Switzerland.

“The Laudamotion AOC will support a fleet of Airbus aircraft, which is something we have hoped to develop within the Ryanair Group for some years,” he said.

“And, in turn, Ryanair will support Laudamotion by providing access to our fleet and financial resources, allowing for more rapid growth.”

- Additional reporting: Reuters