Ryanair confirms strike will go ahead as talks break up

Michael O’Leary the Ryanair chief executive recognised the status of unions for the first time last year

Ryanair's refusal to recognise unions was at the heart of the model that transformed the small Irish regional airline into Europe's largest carrier by passenger numbers.

More than 5,000 Ryanair customers have been left with cancelled flights as a result.

Ryanair has confirmed that 30 flights to and from Ireland and the United Kingdom will be cancelled on Thursday after talks between management and unions broke down.

"All customers on these flights have received text and email notification of these cancellations earlier today and our Customer Service teams are assisting them with refunds, free transfers to alternative flights on Thurs, or Wed, Fri and Saturday".

The budget airline also said it has made alternative travel arrangements - both flights and ferries - for nearly 5,000 passengers.

Why are pilots on strike?

The Irish Air Line Pilots' Association (Ialpa) outlined a range of issues around seniority, annual leave, and base transfers that it wanted addressed.

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Ryanair cancellations: How to claim compensation?

Talks aimed at averting the stoppage broke down yesterday without agreement.

According to a statement from Ryanair, the meeting lasted for seven hours.

Both sides have said they remain available for talks and want to resolve their difficulties.

The airline has apologised for the "regrettable disruptions", saying it was trying to minimise the strike's impact on people travelling to Portugal, France, Spain, Italy and Greece.

"Ryanair pilots have already secured a 20% pay increase, earn up to €200,000 p.a., work 5 days-on, followed by 4 days-off (a double bank holiday weekend at the end of every week), enjoy rapid promotions and unmatched job security".

A statement released by all four unions that are representing the cabin crews said: "We call on the European Commission, and the governments of every European country where Ryanair operates, to act upon the social dumping performed by the Irish low-priced carrier and to enforce the EU employment and national imperative legislation".

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