The third strike by Irish pilots of budget airline Ryanair has seen flights cancelled for over 2,500 passengers flying between the UK and Ireland.
Ahead of today’s strikes, Ryanair tried to shift blame onto its pilot’s by publishing pay slips and claiming its pilots earn between €150,000 and €200,000 per annum but Irish Airline Pilots Association, a branch of the FORSA union said the industrial action was also about a lack of an agreement on how Ryanair deals with transfers between bases.
Over 99% oft Ryanairs IALPA pilots balloted voted in favour of the strike.
The Union also claimed that its discussions were met with threats to “move Dublin based aircraft and pilots to other bases and cut promotion opportunities”.
The discontent isn’t just with Ryanair pilots. Cabin Crew in Portugal, Spain and Belgium will strike again on the 25th July and 26th July, and Italian crews will strike for on the 25th July.
The cabin crew are walking out in disputes over the pay offered to them as living costs increase. Crews from across Europe published a list of 34 demands earlier this month which included a fair living wage along with improved sick pay and employment contracts in their own local law rather than Irish law.
Ryanair recently posted its first-quarter results which saw its profits drop 20%. It blamed that partly on ATC Shortages including in the UK, something which the UK’s ATC provider NATS strenuously denied.
Know your rights if your flight is cancelled
As Ryanair is a European airline, if your flight is cancelled then Under EU Law you are entitled to take an alternative flight with the Ryanair to your destination, or cancel your flight and claim a full refund. If the alternative isn’t suitable, then Ryanair is legally obliged to book you on a comparable flight with them or an alternative airline. This known as rerouting and even if that flight costs Ryanair more, they can’t pass that cost on to you.
Last year, when Ryanair cancelled thousands of flights when crew holidays left it short of available pilots, the CAA publically stated that Ryanair was misleading customers by not offering, or saying they weren’t required, to reroute customers on alternative airlines.
Speaking at the time, the Civil Aviation Authority’s Chief Executive, Andrew Haines, said: “There are clear laws in place, which are intended to assist passengers in the event of a cancellation, helping minimise both the frustration and inconvenience caused by circumstances completely out of their control.
We have made this crystal clear to Ryanair, who are well aware of their legal obligations, which includes how and when they should reroute passengers, along with the level of information it provides its passengers.”