‘Unjustified’ strikes by Ryanair pilots in Germany leads to more disruption at Stansted Airport

Ryanair jet taking off from Stansted. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Ryanair jet taking off from Stansted. Picture: CONTRIBUTED - Credit: Archant

A strike by pilots has forced Ryanair to cancel flights to and from Germany at Stansted Airport tomorrow.

A pilot union in Germany, Vereinigung Cockpit, is one of the groups striking at Ryanair airports in Germany on Friday, forcing the airline to cancel 250 out of more than 2,400 flights scheduled to operate on that day, including several to and from Stansted Airport.

It is understood that 10 flights due to arrive at Stansted Airport from Germany tomorrow have been cancelled, along with the subsequent return flights.

The strike action is not affecting any UK-based crews.

Customers affected by the cancellations should have been notified by email and SMS text message yesterday and advised of their options of a refund, free move onto the next available flight or reroute.

Flight operations are scheduled to resume normal services on Saturday.

Ryanair’s Kenny Jacobs said: “We regret the decision of the Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) to go ahead with this unnecessary strike action given that we sent through a revised proposal on a Collective Labour Agreement on Friday, August 3 and stated our intention to work towards achieving a CLA together.

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“We also invited VC to meet us on Tuesday but they did not respond to this invitation.

“Our pilots in Germany enjoy excellent working conditions. They are paid up to €190,000 per annum and, as well as additional benefits, they received a 20 per cent pay increase at the start of this year.

“Ryanair pilots earn at least 30 per cent more than Eurowings and 20 per cent more than Norwegian pilots.

“We asked VC to provide us with at least seven 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. We again call on the VC to remove the threat of an unjustified and unnecessary strike, to commit to providing reasonable 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 August 10.

“We apologise to our customers for this unnecessary strike and regrettable disruption.”

The German pilots will join colleagues in Sweden, Belgium and Ireland to stage a 24-hour walkout that will cancel hundreds of flights.

A Ryanair spokesman said: “All affected customers have already been contacted and re-accommodated. Customers can also check the status of their flight on Ryanair.com.”

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