Ryanair strike brings misery to 70,000 holidaymakers as 400 flights cancelled

Ryanair strike Dutch pilots are disputing working conditions

In response to unions serving Ryanair strike notices, Europe's largest low-priced carrier has announced in recent days the cancellations of 250 flights in and out Germany, 104 to and from Belgium and another 42 in Sweden and its home market of Ireland, where around a quarter of its pilots were staging their fifth 24-hour walkout.

Ryanair pilots are striking in five European countries, forcing the cancellation of a sixth of the firm's flights during the holiday season peak.

An estimated 50,000 passengers are understood to have been informed of cancellations, the majority of whom have been re-accommodated on alternative flights. Vereinigung Cockpit has stated that their concerns relate to "improvements in pay and working conditions", adding the Ryanair has categorically ruled out any possibility of an increase in staff costs.

Ryanair has been forced to cancel one in six of its flights tomorrow as strikes spread across Europe.

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Ryanair has issued a statement on the strike, calling it "unnecessary".

The Dutch pilots union VNV said it was the first time in Europe that an airline had gone to court to prevent industrial action, the Financieele Dagblad reported.

Unions want the contracts of Ryanair employees to be governed by the laws of the nation where they are based, not by Irish legislation.

The Spanish pilots' union - which represents around 500 of the 800 Ryanair pilots in Spain - says it is going to sue the airline after a year of failed talks.

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