Ryanair has cancelled an additional 250 flights for Friday as a result of its Germany-based pilots voting for industrial action.
The Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) union said it had called its Ryanair member pilots to strike from 03:01 (3.01am) Friday until 02:59 (2.59am) on Saturday local time in support of improvements in pay and working conditions at the airline.
Ryanair said it was forced to cancel 250 of over 2,400 flights scheduled to operate on Friday as a result.
The German cancellations come on top of the over 140 flights it had already cancelled because of strikes on the same day by its pilots based in Belgium, Ireland and Sweden. Over 16 percent of the airline’s flights on Friday have now been cancelled.
VC president Martin Locher said Ryanair had “categorically ruled out” any increase in cockpit personnel costs, and that the airline had not shown any interest in finding solutions. “It is only Ryanair, which is responsible for the escalation which has now taken place.”
Ryanair said the union had refused to give seven days notice of the strike in Germany, which would have allowed the airline to minimise disruption to it customers.
“We regret the decision of the VC to go ahead with this unnecessary strike action given that we sent through a revised proposal… and stated our intention to work towards achieving a CLA (Collective Labour Agreement) together,” Ryanair’s Kenny Jacobs said.
Jacobs said the airline is ready to continue negotiations and called on the union to remove the threat of strikes. He also asked VC to commit to providing seven days notice of any future industrial action and to meet for “meaningful negotiations.”
Since Ryanair’s decision in December last year to recognise unions, it has increasingly been subject to 24-hour work stoppages by its pilots. Friday’s coordinated strikes by pilots in four countries is the most serious escalation so far.