Ryanair strike: Seven more days of walkouts announced

British flight crew are currently on strike but all flights are operating normally

On schedule? A Ryanair Boeing 737 prepares to depart from Stansted on the first day of the current strike
On schedule? A Ryanair Boeing 737 prepares to depart from Stansted on the first day of the current strike

In an increasingly ill-tempered industrial dispute, British pilots employed by Ryanair have announced another seven days of strikes.

Pilots who work for Europe’s biggest budget airline in the UK and are members of the British Airline Pilots’ Association (Balpa) have announced further strike dates in September.

They will stop work on 18 and 19 September, then a series of alternated dates: 21, 23, 25, 27 and 29 September.

Pilots are currently on a three-day strike, which ends at midnight on Wednesday, and staged a two-day walk-out in August.

On all five days Ryanair crewed services to and from the UK using volunteer pilots, and passengers were unaffected.

The plan behind these strikes is that the airline will not have sufficient pilots with flying hours to spare to cover all the flights.

The union’s general secretary, Brian Strutton, said: “We are clear that we want to settle the dispute and bring about a change in Ryanair for the better.

“Pilots in Ryanair are seeking the same kind of policies and agreements that exist in other airlines – our demands are not unreasonable. We want to address issues like pensions; loss of licence insurance; maternity benefits; allowances; and harmonise pay across the UK in a fair, transparent, and consistent structure.

“While this action has considerably disrupted Ryanair, forcing them to engage contractors and bring in foreign crews to run its operation, it has had limited impact on the public’s travel plans.

“Ryanair should stop dragging its feet and get back to the negotiating table.”

A spokesperson for the airline said: “These latest Balpa strikes are pointless given that during five days of Balpa strikes all Ryanair flights to/from UK airports operated as scheduled – with zero cancellations – thanks to the efforts of over 95 per cent of our UK pilots who flew as rostered and did not support these failed Balpa strikes.

“We again call on Balpa to return to talks as these failed strikes have not achieved anything.”

​A two-day strike by British Airways pilots belonging to Balpa begins on Monday. Cancellations will start at the weekend.

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