Ryanair cancels 30 Irish flights due to a strike by some of its pilots

Ryanair take delivery of its 450th Boeing 737-800

Ryanair today, July 12, 2018, was forced to cancel 30 of its 290 Irish flights due to a strike by its pilots.

The airline issued this statement:

We regret to advise some Irish customers of a strike by just 94 (27%) of our 350+ Irish pilots on Thursday,  July 12, 2018.

We have tried to avert this disruption, which is unnecessary given Ryanair pilots’ and their union FORSA has received written proposals on seniority, annual leave and base transfers, which are what FORSA claims are the reasons for this strike, yet FORSA has rejected 21 separate invitations to meet Ryanair to negotiate these documents.

Ryanair pilots have already secured a 20% pay increase, earn up to €200,000 p.a., work 5 days-on, followed by 4 days-off (a double bank holiday weekend at the end of every week), enjoy rapid promotions and unmatched job security. In a final effort to avert this strike, we have agreed to meet our pilots and FORSA at a neutral venue kindly provided by Dublin Airport, but we believe this small group of pilots and FORSA are determined to disrupt the travel of Irish customers on July 12.

We cannot rule out further disruptions in July and August, especially when some Aer Lingus pilots wrote officially to the DAA on June 25 – some 10 days before the results of the Ryanair pilot ballot were known – to advise that they were “contemplating a series of 1 and 2 days strikes in July and August”. It is unacceptable that competitor airline pilots are actively organising strikes by Ryanair’s pilots when these airlines will be the direct beneficiaries of any such disruption.

Ryanair has for 30 years pioneered low fare air travel, both in Ireland and Europe. In December 2017, we agreed to recognise unions for our pilots and cabin crew, and we have already signed recognition agreements with UK and Italian pilot and cabin crew unions, which shows how serious we are about dealing with unions. We have not made similar progress in Ireland (or Germany), where we see competitor airline pilots actively interfering by promoting strikes and flight disruptions during the peak period of July and August. These coordinated strike threats are designed to cause unnecessary disruption to customers and damage Ryanair’s low fare model, for the benefit of high fare competitor airlines in Ireland and Germany.

1. Despite offering to meet our pilots and the FORSA union at a neutral venue on Wed at 10am, the union has confirmed again today that they expect Thursdays strike by 27% of our Irish pilots to go ahead. We regrettably must plan for some disruptions on Thurs, and try to minimise their impact, especially upon Irish customers and their families travelling on holidays to Portugal, France, Spain, Italy and Greece. We will do this by cancelling a number of flights on high frequency routes from Ireland to London and other UK Province destinations where customers can transfer readily to other flights on Thurs or switch their travel to earlier flights tomorrow (Wed) or later on Fri, Sat or subsequent days.

2. We have this morning planned to cancel up to 30 of our 290 flights to and from Irish airports on Thurs 12th. All customers on these flights have received text and email notification of these cancellations earlier today and our Customer Service teams are assisting them with refunds, free transfers to alternative flights on Thurs, or Wed, Fri and Sat. For customers travelling to the UK we will also be assisting them with alternative transport on comparable operators (both flights & ferries) where there is some limited space available.

3. Customers who are travelling on a Ryanair flight to/from Ireland on Thursday, July 12 and who have not already received an email or text notification, then we expect their flight to operate and they should check in as normal at their departure airport on Thursday July 12.

4. We apologise to our Irish customers for these regrettable disruptions which we have done our utmost to avoid.

In addition, the company made this announcement on social media:

ATC Update – French, German, Spanish and UK ATC staff shortages have caused delays to 91 (21%) of our 436 first wave of flight departures this morning. We sincerely regret these unjustified delays and are doing our utmost to limit their impact on flights throughout the rest of today. Customers on impacted flights have been notified by SMS text and email.

Top Copyright Photo: Ryanair Boeing 737-8AS WL EI-FZF (msn 44779) DUB (Michael Kelly). Image: 937323.

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