UK-based Ryanair pilots have previously voted to strike in a row over pay and conditions, with the British Airline Pilots Association (Balpa) already announcing two walkouts, one on the 22nd and 23rd August, while the second strike will be from 2nd to 4th September.
Now in another blow to passengers heading away on holiday, Ryanair pilots based in the Republic of Ireland, have also voted to strike on the 22nd and 23rd August.
A statement from IALPA read:
“The union said that the Irish Airline Pilots’ Association (IALPA) had submitted a 30-page proposal to Ryanair management in March of this year, which sought pay levels and structures it says are in line with sector norms.
“The IALPA claim also included proposals on pensions, working conditions and related matters.”
“Fórsa national secretary Angela Kirk said Ryanair pilots told her they’d been forced into industrial action by the company’s failure to offer any significant response to their proposals over a four-month period.
“She said she regretted any disruption that might flow from management’s unwillingness or inability to negotiate a fair and transparent pay package, even at this late hour.”
Ryanair expects minimal disruption from the planned strikes:
“Our hope is that we’re going to cover the majority of the operation both in the UK and Ireland, and unless you hear from us, your flight is going ahead as normal,” Eddie Wilson told Reuters in a telephone interview, adding that planned action by Portuguese cabin crew next week would be minor.”
In a statement on Ryanair's website, spokesperson Eddie Wilson said:
“We have done everything in our power to avoid disruption to our flights and our customers’ holidays. However, no company can concede to grossly unreasonable demands from its highest paid workers for a further pay increase of over 100% (when they already agreed and received a 20% pay increase earlier this year) at a time when the airline industry is in crisis.
Ryanair pilots who are already among the best paid workers in Ireland are now threatening to disrupt the holiday travel plans of thousands of customers over the coming weeks as they demand that their pay be increased from €172,000 p.a. to over €347,000 p.a. that would see them earn more than the President of Ireland or our Taoiseach, even as Norwegian makes all of its Dublin pilots redundant. We remain willing to engage in Mediation with our pilots and Fórsa but call on them to avoid disrupting our customers’ travel plans in pursuit of what are clearly unrealistic and unimplementable pay proposals.”
What do I do if my flight is cancelled due to the strike?
Under EU regulation 261, airlines must offer passengers affected by cancellations a full refund or a rerouting on the next available flight or at a later time that suits the passenger. If you opt for a refund the airline’s responsibility to you ends. If you ask to be put on the next available flight then the airline must provide care and assistance until you can be accommodated on an alternative flight.
What does care and assistance mean? The airline must provide you with meals and refreshments. If necessary it will have to cover the cost of hotel accommodation and transport between the hotel and the airport and you will have to be offered two free telephone calls and access to email.
What happens if my flight is not cancelled but I face a long delay?
If you are facing a delay the airline must also provide you with care and assistance. If you are left hanging around in an airport it must cover reasonable cost of meals and refreshments. If your flight is delayed by more than five hours an airline must offer you the choice of continuing with your journey or a refund of the cost of your ticket.