Ryanair pilots vote to strike next week with threat of more walkouts to come

Links from Dublin, Cork and Shannon to UK airports could be hit

Simon Calder
Travel Correspondent
Wednesday 04 July 2018 09:59 BST
Ryanair pilots vote to strike

Almost 100 pilots working for Ryanair in Ireland will stop work on 12 July, with the threat of more strikes to come.

Members of the Irish Air Line Pilots’ Association (IALPA) are engaged in a dispute over arrangements for transferring flight crew between European and north African bases as well as seniority and annual leave arrangements.

The union said its request for talks on the issue “had been met with a threat to move Dublin-based aircraft and pilots to other airports and cut promotion opportunities”.

IALPA balloted members directly employed by Ryanair about industrial action. Of 95 votes returned, all but one was in favour of a strike.

A stoppage could be called in as little as a week, grounding flights at one of the busiest times of the year.

The airline employs directly around 100 pilots in Ireland, with about 200 more on personal services contracts.

While contracted pilots are expected to work normally, a majority of directly employed cockpit crew are captains – potentially increasing the impact of the strike.

The biggest effect on UK travellers is likely to be on Irish Sea services from Dublin, Cork and Shannon to British airports. But Ryanair is likely to be considering options for deploying pilots from other bases around Europe.

Ryanair has long refused to recognise trade unions, but in December 2017 its policy changed.

Unions across Europe have complained about the lack of commitment shown by Ryanair, and cabin crew are convening for a separate summit in Dublin on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The union said it remained “available and willing to engage” on the issues in dispute.

In Germany, the Vereinigung Cockpit union is balloting Ryanair pilots in a dispute over pay and workloads.

Ryanair says the vast majority of its flights on 12 July will be unaffected, because 93 per cent of services do not operate to or from Ireland.

The airline has said it will inform passengers affected by cancellations next Tuesday, 10 July.

Travellers whose flights are affected are entitled to be re-booked on Ryanair or, if no seats are available the same day or following day, alternative airlines.

Last month the airline cancelled more than 1,100 flights because of air traffic control strikes, with more than 200,000 passengers grounded.

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