Category Archives: Ryanair

Ryanair is forced to cancel 250 flights to/from Germany on Friday

Ryanair has issued this statement:

The VC pilot union has called for a strike at Ryanair airports in Germany on Friday, August 10, 2018, forcing Ryanair to cancel 250 out of over 2,400 flights scheduled to operate that day.

Customers affected by these unnecessary cancellations will be contacted by email and SMS text message this afternoon (August 8) before 3pm and advised of their options of a refund, free move on to the next available flight or reroute. Flight operations are scheduled to resume normal services on Saturday, August 11, 2018.

Ryanair’s Kenny Jacobs said:

“We regret the decision of the VC to go ahead with this unnecessary strike action given that we sent through a revised proposal on a Collective Labour Agreement (on Fri 3 Aug) and stated our intention to work towards achieving a CLA together. We also invited VC to meet us on Tuesday (7 Aug) but they did not respond to this invitation.

Our pilots in Germany enjoy excellent working conditions. They are paid up to €190,000 p.a. and, as well as additional benefits, they received a 20% pay increase at the start of this year. Ryanair pilots earn at least 30% more than Eurowings and 20% more than Norwegian pilots.

We asked VC to provide us with at least 7 days’ notice of any planned strike action so that we could notify our customers of cancelled flights in advance and offer them alternative flights or refunds, but they have refused to do this and instead call an unnecessary strike in Germany in just two days’ time. 

Ryanair is ready to continue these negotiations (as confirmed by our Aug 3 proposal). We again call on the VC to remove the threat of an unjustified and unnecessary strike, to commit to providing reasonable (7 days) notice of strike action and to accept our invitations to meet for meaningful negotiations on a CLA for our German pilots and minimise disruption to German customers. 

Ryanair is now forced to cancel 250 flights of over 2,400 flights scheduled to operate on Friday 10 August. We apologise to our customers for this unnecessary strike and regrettable disruption.”

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Ryanair to cut Dublin based fleet by 20% from 30 to 24 aircraft for Winter 2018

Ryanair Boeing 737-8AS WL EI-FRL (msn 44741) TLS (Paul Bannwarth). Image: 940739.

Ryanair’s Board on July 25 approved a plan to cut its Dublin based fleet from 30 to (at most) 24 aircraft for the winter 2018 season.

These reductions have been driven by the rapid growth of Ryanair’s Polish charter airline, which is growing profitably in 2018, allied to a down turn in forward bookings and airfares in Ireland partly as a result of recent rolling strikes by Irish pilots, which has had a negative effect on (close-in) high fare bookings and forward air fares as consumer confidence in the reliability of our Irish flight schedules has been disturbed.

Ryanair’s Polish airline, Ryanair Sun, will now offer over 10 aircraft to Polish tour operators, more than double the 5 aircraft offered in Summer 2018. We expect few route closures from Dublin, although some routes may suffer frequency reductions.

In the light of these Dublin base cuts, Ryanair has today issued letters of (90 days) protective notice to over 100 pilots and over 200 cabin crew employees, whose services may not be required from October 28, 2018 onwards, due to this 20% reduction in the Dublin fleet this winter.

Ryanair will now begin the consultations with its people on redundancy, which, if redundancies are necessary, will be determined by Ryanair’s assessment of flight performance, productivity, attendances, and base transfer requests. Ryanair will be offering transfers to Poland (and possibly some other bases) to these Dublin based pilots and cabin crew employees for Winter 2018 in order to minimise any redundancies.

Ryanair’s COO Peter Bellew said:

“We regret these base aircraft reductions at Dublin for Winter 2018, but the Board has decided to allocate more aircraft to those markets where we are enjoying strong growth (such as Poland), and this will result in some aircraft reductions and job cuts in country markets where business has weakened, or forward bookings are being damaged by rolling strikes by Irish pilots. Ryanair operates a fleet of over 450 aircraft from 87 bases across Europe. We can only do so if we continue to offer low fares, reliable flight services to our customers, and if our reputation for reliability or forward bookings is affected, then base and potential job cuts such as these at Dublin are a deeply regretted consequence”.

Top Copyright Photo (all others by Ryanair): Ryanair Boeing 737-8AS WL EI-FRL (msn 44741) TLS (Paul Bannwarth). Image: 940739.

Ryanair aircraft slide show:

IAG, Ryanair, easyJet and Wizz Air submit French ATC strikes complaint to European Commission

A320neo, delivered on April 25, 2018

International Airlines Group (IAG), Ryanair, easyJet and Wizz Air have submitted complaints to the European Commission against France as its air traffic controllers’ strikes restrict the fundamental principle of freedom of movement within the EU.

The airlines are not questioning the right to strike but believe France is breaking EU law by not enabling flights over the country during strikes. Passengers on overflights are being denied their fundamental freedom to travel between member states not affected by strike action.

So far this year, French ATC strikes have increased by 300 per cent versus 2017. Last month, the French Senate confirmed that France alone is responsible for 33 per cent of flight delays in Europe. The Senate states also that the right to strike has to be balanced against the obligation to provide public service. (*).

Willie Walsh, IAG’s chief executive, said: “The right to strike needs to be balanced against freedom of movement. It’s not only customers flying in and out of France who are affected during French ATC strikes. Passengers on routes that overfly France, especially the large airspace that covers Marseille and the Mediterranean, are also subject to delays and massive disruptions. This affects all airlines but has a significant negative impact on Spain’s tourism and economy.”

The complaints state that there is a legal precedent to this case. In 1997, the Spanish complained to the European Commission after they suffered for many years when French farmers prevented their fruit and vegetable exports into the EU. The European Court ruled against France as the French authorities didn’t address the farmers’ actions and failed to ensure the free movement of goods (**).

Michael O’Leary, Ryanair’s chief executive, said: “Europe’s ATC providers are reaching the point of meltdown with hundreds of flights being cancelled and delayed daily either because of ATC strikes or because Europe’s ATC don’t have enough staff. When Greece and Italy have ATC strikes, overflights continue as normal. Why won’t France do the same? ATC providers (especially in Germany and the UK) are hiding behind adverse weather and euphemisms such as “capacity restrictions” when the truth is they are not rostering enough air traffic controllers to cater for the number of flights that are scheduled to operate. These disruptions are unacceptable, and we call on Europe’s Governments and the EU Commission to take urgent and decisive action to ensure that ATC providers are fully staffed and that overflights are not affected when national strikes take place, as they repeatedly do in France.”

Johan Lundgren, easyJet’s chief executive, said: “We fully respect the right to strike and have been in constructive dialogue with the EU and the French government to address the issue of ATC strikes. Unfortunately, our passengers have felt little progress so far, which is why we felt it is necessary to take this next step – particularly given the sustained industrial action this year which has totalled 29 days to date.”

József Váradi, Wizz Air’s chief executive, said: “The failure of French air traffic control authorities to ensure a continued and adequate service has already caused massive disruption to the travel plans of thousands of passengers across Europe, with airlines left to pick up the pieces. Addressing this issue must be a priority for the European authorities to ensure European citizens and businesses are no longer held hostage to national industrial relations issues.”

According to Eurocontrol, more than 16,000 flights had been delayed by June this year due to ATC strikes, affecting more than two million passengers.

Last summer, the European Commission said that since 2005 there have been around 357 ATC strikes in Europe. That’s the equivalent of roughly one month per year when the EU skies are disrupted.

Top Copyright Photo (all other photos by respective airlines):

British Airways aircraft slide show: British Airways Airbus A320-251N WL G-TTNB (msn 8139) LIS (Stefan Sjogren). Image: 942707.

British Airways slide show (Airbus):

Ryanair presents its side of the cabin crew pay and benefits dispute

Ryanair is trying to make its case in the on-going contract dispute with its cabin crew unions in Spain, Portugal and Belgium. It hopes to disruptive strikes.

Meanwhile Ryanair on July 19 announced that it has signed its third cabin crew union recognition agreement with Ver.di Union. Ver.di will now be the representative body for all directly employed Cabin Crew operating on Ryanair aircraft in Germany.

This cabin crew recognition agreement follows extensive negotiations with Ver.di and covers the German market. Ryanair looks forward to working with Ver.di and its Ryanair (Cabin Crew) Company Council to conclude an early CLA for Ryanair’s directly employed cabin crew based in Germany.

Additionally Ryanair on July 20 signed a recognition agreement with the Italian union FIT CISL, who will now join ANPAC and ANPAV as a joint negotiating body for directly employed cabin crew in Italy.  The joint negotiating committee of FIT CISL, ANPAC and ANPAV will take effect from July 24, 2018 to commence negotiations on a CLA. The contract agencies (Crewlink and Workforce) employing cabin crew operating on Ryanair aircraft in Italy have also signed recognition agreements today with FIT CISL, ANPAC, and ANPAV, and negotiations on a CLA for contractor crew will also commence from July 24, 2018.

Ryanair is now commencing negotiations on CLA’s for over 66% of its people in its major markets of Italy, the UK and Germany.

Ryanair hopes that the cabin crew unions in Spain, Portugal and Belgium will soon follow this example by engaging in negotiations with Ryanair rather than disrupting Ryanair customers by going on unnecessary strikes.

Photos: Ryanair.

Ryanair responds to Lufthansa’s claims about Laudamotion

Laudamotion Airbus A320-214 OE-LOE (msn 4269) FRA (Marcelo F. De Biasi). Image: 941409.

Ryanair on July 13 confirmed that Lufthansa Group is making false claims about Laudamotion.

Lufthansa’s claim that it has “fully complied with all requirements of the European Commission regarding the required transfer of aircraft to Laudamotion” is simply untrue. Lufthansa agreed to transfer 11 aircraft to Laudamotion, yet as of July 13, Lufthansa has only delivered 9 aircraft.

1. One of the aircraft, which was supposed to be delivered “at the beginning” of June, has now been delayed until at least the end of August, which means Laudamotion has lost the benefit of this aircraft (and its slots) during the peak summer months.

2. Not alone has Lufthansa failed to honor its obligations to lease the 11 aircraft, but the lease costs of the aircraft it has leased to Laudamotion are substantially higher than market rates for Airbus A320’s of this age.

3. Laudamotion has repeatedly honored both its aircraft lease payments and maintenance reserves to Lufthansa. Lufthansa’s claims of “repeated failure” to pay is false.

4. Lufthansa has used every tactic in the book to harm and damage Laudamotion including withdrawing flying business from Laudamotion (which Lufthansa had originally agreed) then refusing to pay over €1.5m of lease payments properly due to Laudamotion for flying carried out on behalf of Lufthansa in March, April and May.

Despite Lufthansa owing Laudamotion over €1.5m in overdue lease payments for the months of March, April and May, Lufthansa has attempted to terminate all 9 aircraft leases on unfounded legal grounds, even though lease rentals for the full month of July had already been paid at the end of June.

Ryanair’s Juliusz Komorek said:

“Lufthansa is abusing its dominant position in the German and Austrian markets in a blatant attempt to eliminate a much smaller, Austrian competitor, Laudamotion. Lufthansa’s attempt to terminate Laudamotion’s 9 aircraft leases during the peak of the summer period, at a time which would cause maximum damage to Laudamotion and its customers, is in breach of its obligations to the EU.

Lufthansa dominates the German, Austrian, and Swiss markets and the fact that it is now abusing this position to try to remove Laudamotion’s aircraft fleet, while refusing to pay Laudamotion lease payments that are months overdue, is in flagrant breach of fair procedure and competition rules. It is Lufthansa who has repeatedly failed to pay Laudamotion over €1.5m of lease payments for March, April and May.”

Top Copyright Photo: Laudamotion Airbus A320-214 OE-LOE (msn 4269) FRA (Marcelo F. De Biasi). Image: 941409.

Laudamotion aircraft slide show:

Laudamotion’s routes from Dusseldorf and Berlin this coming winter:

 

Lufthansa Group refutes false allegations by Ryanair

Lufthansa Group has issued this statement:

Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair issued a press release on its planned takeover of Laudamotion. The Ryanair allegations are completely unfounded.

Lufthansa has fully complied with all EU Commission obligations regarding the required transfer of aircraft to Laudamotion. This is true of both the number of aircraft involved and their leasing terms.

All the aircraft covered by the EU derogation decision were offered for sale to Laudamotion by Lufthansa. Laudamotion rejected this offer, preferring to lease the aircraft instead.

Laudamotion has recently failed – repeatedly – to meet its contractually-agreed lease payment obligations.

As the Eurowings Group needs aircraft, Lufthansa has exercised its contractually-agreed right of termination because of a violation of contractual terms by Laudamotion, and has terminated the lease agreements on nine aircraft due to the non-payment of the lease amounts involved.

Ryanair welcomes EU approval of its Laudamotion proposal

Ryanair on July 12, 2018welcomed the EU Commission’s decision to approve Ryanair’s proposed acquisition of a 75% interest in Austrian airline, Laudamotion (Ryanair currently owns 24.9%). Ryanair has entered into partnership with Niki Lauda to offer competition, lower fares, and more choice for consumers in Austria, Germany, and Spain, which is where the majority of Laudamotion services currently take place.

However, Laudamotion is currently under threat by Lufthansa who are attempting to remove the 9 aircraft Lufthansa was obliged by the European Commission to provide to Laudamotion in order to allow Laudamotion to restart services.

This is the latest in a series of efforts by Lufthansa to destabilise and damage Laudamotion, which has seen:

– Lufthansa fail to deliver 2 of the 11 aircraft they were required to under the EU Competition decision concerning Lufthansa’s acquisition of Air Berlin.

– Some of the aircraft that Lufthansa had committed to deliver being delayed until after the summer 2018 season, further reducing Laudamotion’s ability to take up slots and offer S2018 flights and services.

– Laudamotion only able to operate a 19 aircraft fleet in summer 2018 by wet leasing 10 B737 aircraft from Ryanair.

– Lufthansa Group delay payment of over €1.5m of wet lease payments properly due to Laudamotion, for flights which Laudamotion operated for Lufthansa in March, April and May.

Ryanair remains committed to bringing competition and choice to Austrian, German and Spanish markets through this investment in Laudamotion and called on the competition authorities to halt Lufthansa’s repeated abuses of its dominant position, which are designed to harm competition and consumers.

Ryanair’s Chief Legal & Regulatory Officer, Juliusz Komorek said:

“We welcome the EU Commission’s decision to approve Ryanair’s proposed acquisition of a 75% interest in Laudamotion. Ryanair remains committed to bringing competition, choice and low fares to the Austrian, German and Spanish markets through our investment in Laudamotion. We urge the EU competition authorities to take action and prevent any further attempts by Lufthansa to damage competition through its anti-consumer behaviour.”