Ryanair is facing its biggest strike yet on Friday, when pilots in Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Ireland and Sweden plan to hold a coordinated 24-hour stoppage to demand better working conditions.
Pilots in France have not joined the strike, and most of the flights will directly affect passengers in Germany (accounting for around 42,000 of the 55,000 passengers expected to be affected).
"They tweeted: "£ryanair cancelled my flight in the last min because of pilots strike.
The Ireland-based budget airline said the industrial action was "regrettable and unjustified" and called for unions to return to the negotiating table. For journeys under 1500km a maximum of €250 can be claimed (or €400 for flights between 1500 and 3,000km), but in the event that the airline directly warned passengers of their flight cancellation with 15 days' notice, there is no right to request economic compensation. The strike is the eighth this year and comes at the peak of...
"What I find unjustified is that the pilots draw the short straw, because people want to fly cheaply", said Daniel Flamman, one of several passengers Reuters spoke to at Frankfurt airport who said they sympathised with the pilots.
But pilots counter that Ryanair has refused to engage in meaningful dialogue about collective labour agreements since it began recognising unions in December 2017.
If this option is not available on the same day or next day then then we will try to accommodate you on the next available Ryanair flight from or to a suitable alternative airport within the same country. Irish pilots recently staged four one-day walkouts, while cabin crew in Spain, Belgium, Italy and Portugal went on strike on July 25 and 26.
Despite the walkouts, 85pc of its scheduled flights, more than 2,000, will operate as normal, Ryanair said.
A statement from CEO Michael O'Leary said: "Ryanair fully complies with all EU261 legislation, however as these flight cancellations were caused by extraordinary circumstances, no compensation is due".
Ryanair's management claims to have offered a pay increase and to be open to further talks.
Peter Scherrer, deputy secretary general of the European Trade Union Confederation, said he welcomed today's cross-border show of unity by pilots.
That was because the strikes were hurting bookings, Ryanair said, and although it was too early to assess the impact elsewhere, it added that the action will hit average fares from having to move customers to flights it could otherwise have sold at a high last-minute price.
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