Hundreds to be affected by Ryanair strikes at Stansted Airport


Tens of thousands of passengers have had their flights cancelled as Ryanair pilots across five European countries launched a mass walkout.

A spokesman said that despite the walkouts, 85% of Ryanair's scheduled flights, more than 2,000, would operate as normal. They would have the option of a refund, rebooking on the next flight or rerouting.

A statement from CEO Michael O'Leary said: "Ryanair fully complies with all EU261 legislation, however as these flight cancellations were caused by extraordinary circumstances, no compensation is due".

In response to unions serving Ryanair strike notices, Europe's largest low-priced carrier has announced in recent days the cancellations of 250 flights in and out 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.

The airline said the strikes were "regrettable and unjustified" and called for unions to come back to the negotiating table.

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It already suffered a round of strikes by cockpit and cabin crew last month that disrupted 600 flights in Belgium, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain, affecting 100,000 travellers. Irish pilots have held four strike days.

Previous year it agreed to recognise unions for the first time but it is in a dispute over collective labour agreements.

But pilots counter that Ryanair has refused to engage in meaningful dialogue about collective labour agreements since it began recognising unions in December 2017.

Ryanair planes have a capacity of 189, meaning more than 74,000 passengers could be affected.

Today's unprecedented simultaneous strike action by Ryanair pilots is the latest headache in a turbulent summer for Europe's second-largest airline.

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He said they earn up to €190,000 (£170,000), which was more than their peers at budget rival Eurowings made.

That was because the strikes were hurting bookings, Ryanair said, and although it was too early to assess the impact elsewhere, it added that the action will hit average fares from having to move customers to flights it could otherwise have sold at a high last-minute price.

Ryanair flight information at Berlin airport on Friday.

Ryanair has repeatedly said it remained open to further talks with pilot representatives.

"We want again to apologise to customers affected by this necessary disruption and we ask the striking unions to continue negotiations instead of calling anymore unjustified strikes".

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