Ryanair pilots in Germany announced today that they will walk out for 24 hours on Friday 10 August in a move that sees 250 flights cancelled.
The strike will begin at 3.01am on Friday and last until 02.59am on Saturday 11 August. It will involve all permanent pilots employed by Ryanair in Germany.
Of the German pilots balloted, an overwhelming 96 per cent backed industrial action. They are demanding improved pay and working conditions.
Ryanair has been forced to cancel 250 out of over 2,400 flights scheduled on Friday. Customers will be notified is their flights has been cancelled.
The low-fare airline said in a statement: “Customers affected by these unnecessary cancellations will be contacted by email and SMS text message this afternoon (8 Aug) before 3pm and advised of their options of a refund, free move on to the next available flight or reroute. Flight operations are scheduled to resume normal services on Saturday 11 August 2018.”
The VC said that “no improved offer has been submitted from Dublin.” They added that “Ryanair management confined itself to repeating and summarising in a letter the terms that they considered to be significant.”
Martin Locher, President of the VC said in a statement: “Ryanair categorically ruled out any increase in staff pay in the negotiations.
“At the same time, Ryanair has never shown where there is leeway to find solutions. Ryanair alone is responsible for the escalation that has now occurred.”
The VC has apologised for the impact on affected passengers, cabin crew and ground crew.
Chief Marketing Officer of Ryanair, Kenny Jacobs, said in a statement: “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 p.a. and, as well as additional benefits, they received a 20 per cent pay increase at the start of this year. Ryanair pilots earn at least 30 per cent more than Eurowings and 20 per cent more than Norwegian pilots.”
“We asked VC to provide us with at least 7 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.”
Ryanair pilots in Ireland, Belgium and Sweden will also be striking on Friday as they rise up against pay and working conditions.
Pilots from the Netherlands are also set to strike. A referendum by the Association of Dutch Pilots (VNV) found that 99.5 per cent of them would support strikes.
However, unlike in other countries where unions must give a week’s notice, the VNV only has to give 12 hours notice.
Up to 25,000 passengers will be affected by the flight cancellations across Europe.
Of the 146 flights, 104 are expected to be to and from Belgium, 22 in Sweden and 20 in Ireland.
A Ryanair spokesman told Express.co.uk: “As FORSA have called a fifth strike by a small minority (25 per cent) of our Irish pilots, we regrettably have cancelled just 20 (seven per cent) of our 300 planned flights to/from Ireland next Fridat (10 Aug).
“All 3,500 affected customers have already been notified by email/SMS and will be readily re-accommodated (or refunded) on other Ryanair flights between IRE-UK routes.”
Passengers should contact the airline for cancelled flight compensation if they are affected, according to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
Despite the numerous strikes, Ryanair revealed last week that its numbers are up. Over 13 million people flew with Ryanair in July 2018, up by four per cent from July 2017.