Saturday 21 September 2019

UK-based Ryanair pilots announce seven more strike days

A Ryanair aircraft stands on the tarmac at Frankfurt-Hahn Airport, Germany. Photo: REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski/File Photo
A Ryanair aircraft stands on the tarmac at Frankfurt-Hahn Airport, Germany. Photo: REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski/File Photo

Anne-Marie Walsh

Striking UK-based Ryanair pilots are to stage another round of stoppages later this month.

British Airline Pilots' Association (Balpa) members will mount pickets during a 48-hour strike on September 18-19, followed by 24-hour strikes on September 21, 23, 25, 27 and 29.

The union said it had no choice following the company's "refusal" to seek conciliation at talks to resolve the dispute over their pay and terms and conditions.

Balpa general secretary Brian Strutton said the pilots are seeking the same policies and agreements that exist in other airlines. "Our demands are not unreasonable," he said.

"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."

He said the action had considerably disrupted Ryanair by forcing the airline to engage contractors and bring in foreign crew, but had limited impact on the public's travel plans.

The airline described the latest Balpa strikes as pointless "given that during five days of Balpa strikes, all Ryanair flights to and from UK airports operated as scheduled - with zero cancellations".

It said this was thanks to the efforts of over 95pc of UK pilots who flew as rostered and did not support "these failed Balpa strikes".

The airline called on Balpa to return to talks, while the union called on the airline to return to talks.

The pilots began their strike action on August 22.

A bid by Irish-based Ryanair pilots who are represented by the Irish Airline Pilots' Association to join their British colleagues in strike action was blocked last month by the Irish High Court.

Irish Independent

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