Ryanair flights grounded as pilots strike

A Dutch judge has said the Ryanair pilots' strike

A Dutch judge has said the Ryanair pilots strike"may go ahead More

In response to unions serving strike notices, Ryanair had announced the cancellations of 250 flights in and out of Germany, 104 to and from Belgium and another 42 in Sweden and its home market of Ireland, where around a quarter of its pilots were staging their fifth 24-hour walkout.

But a court said yesterday Ryanair pilots in the Netherlands could not be prevented from doing so.

Hundreds of Ryanair flights will not take off as planned on Friday due to pilot strikes in five countries. As Ryanair had already informed passengers of the disruption there was "no one looking desperately for flights".

The VNV said it has been negotating with Ryanair over a pay-and-conditions agreement for eight months without making any progress.

Which? travel editor Rory Boland said the dispute resolution service used by Ryanair had already confirmed it would uphold a previous European ruling that crew strikes are not usually considered "extraordinary circumstances". Irish pilots recently staged four one-day walkouts, while cabin crew in Spain, Belgium, Italy and Portugal went on strike on July 25 and 26.

In the Netherlands, around 22 flights from Eindhoven airport could potentially be affected, the ANP news agency reported.

"If this isn't available on the same or next day then we will accommodate you to your end destination on airlines with whom we have a reciprocal agreement".

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The airline will hold talks via a mediator on Monday with the Irish pilots union, which said it had no current plans for further strikes. They even don't do a refund.

Another key complaint of workers based in countries other than Ireland is the fact that Ryanair employs them under Irish legislation, arguing most of its employees work on board Irish planes.

At a Frankfurt press conference on Wednesday, Ryanair's chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs said the company's German pilots enjoy "excellent working conditions". But it has also threatened to move part of its fleet to Poland, which could mean a loss of jobs.

But Ryanair pilots say they earn less than counterparts at other airlines like Lufthansa.

The European Trade Union Confederation welcomed the cross-border action by the pilots, saying it made it harder for management to ignore the pilots' demands.

"In its update, Ryanair said: "[We] took every step to minimise the disruption and we notified our customers as early as possible advising them of their free move, refund, or reroute options.

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