Ryanair warns of disruption as more pilots join planned strike

Ryanair moves towards recognise pilot unions

They will now join Dublin-based IALPA pilots in a 24-hour strike next Wednesday, December 20th.

Whilst the threat of flight disruptions affects only a minority of Ryanair customers, they famously categorized 700,000 customers affected by the winter cancellations as representing only 2% of its total annual passengers carried, it signals further industrial trouble ahead for "Europe's favorite airline" which is seeking to improve its image with customers.

The situation is further complicated by the fact that a significant proportion of Ryanair pilots are not directly employed by the airline, but are contractors hired through agencies or other intermediary arrangements.

Earlier this week, Niall Shanahan, spokesman for IALPA's parent union Impact, acknowledged Ryanair could have the resources to minimise the strike's impact.

"The German trade union has spoken of a strike that begins "from now on at any time", except for the Christmas season, from December 23 to 26", underlining that the pilots will go on until Ryanair does not adhere to the national contract.

Update 5.46pm: Ryanair has not set out how many flights could be cancelled due to next week's planned strike.

Impact official Ashley Connolly explained: "This dispute is exclusively about winning independent representation for pilots in the company".

Ryanair moves towards recognise pilot unions
Ryanair to recognise unions in historic shift to stop Christmas strike by pilots

In better news the company have announced extra flights on 40 different routes from Cork, Dublin, Knock and Shannon airports for summer 2018.

"This may lead to some flight disruptions".

Industry Minister Carlo Calenda on Wednesday blasted as "shameful" a Ryanair letter to its pilots in Italy warning them they risk future salary increases, promotions and transfers if they take part in a strike on December 15.

Portuguese union SPAC said in a statement that it "deeply regrets the failure by management to engage with the pilots' representatives in a meaningful manner".

Pilots and ground crew in Italy are due to take action first with a four-hour strike on Friday, to be followed by a 24-hour stoppage by pilots in Ireland and Portugal on Dec 20.

"This industrial action could result in huge disruptions for Irish travellers, in particular for families who may be returning home for Christmas or planning to holiday aboard", he said.

Ryanair refuses to recognise unions, insisting instead on its own system of collective bargaining.

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