Ryanair cancels 30 flights as Irish-based pilots stage one-day strike

Flights to Europe not affected by strike by Irish-based Ryanair pilots

 Ryanair Aircraft on their stands Dublin Airport. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Ryanair Aircraft on their stands Dublin Airport. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw

 

Ryanair has cancelled 30 flights between Ireland and UK after members of the Irish Airline Pilots’ Association (Ialpa) started a one-day strike on Thursday.

Further strikes at airline Ryanair remain a possibility as talks with the pilots’ union ended inconclusively on Wednesday.

The carrier has been forced to cancel up to 30 of 290 flights. Ryanair said it had re-accommodated customers booked on cancelled Ireland-UK flights and indicated it expected little disruption outside that.

The remaining 260 or so flights that are unaffected are destined mainly for holiday destinations in Europe, a key part of the airline’s business at this time of year.

Talks between Ryanair and Ialpa – part of trade union Fórsa – ended inconclusively on Wednesday, leaving the way open for further pilots’ strikes at the airline’s Irish bases.

The union’s original ballot allows for further industrial action to follow Thursday’s one-day strike, which involves about 100 of Ryanair’s Irish-based pilots.

Both sides indicated a willingness at the talks to set up a working group to deal with the issues raised by pilots, which include base transfers, promotion, leave allocation and other areas covered by seniority.

However, Fórsa spokesman Bernard Harbor said afterwards that they failed to agree terms of reference for this group, as both sides came up with conflicting proposals.

The pilots are demanding a seniority agreement with Ryanair covering base transfers, promotion, annual leave and any other issue governed by length of service. In a statement on the airline’s website Ryanair said pilots “have already secured a 20 per cent pay increase, earn up to €200,000 pa, work 5 days-on, followed by 4 days-off (a double bank holiday weekend at the end of every week), enjoy rapid promotions and unmatched job security.”

Ryanair said any customers who have not received email or text notifications of flight cancellations should travel to their departure airport as normal.