Low-Cost carrier Ryanair has cancelled 190 out of its 2,400 flights scheduled for this Friday (September 28) due to the cabin-crew strikes in Spain, Portugal, Italy, Belgium, Germany and The Netherlands.
This is around 8% of the Irish airline’s flights and will affect about 30,000 passengers.
Ryanair, in a press release, says it has today contacted all travellers booked on the cancelled flights to rearrange their trips or provide refunds.
According to the company, it ‘sincerely regrets’ what it calls ‘unnecessary disruption’ for customers, and claims that in the last few weeks it has made ‘significant progress’ in negotiations with the various unions in the UK, Ireland, Italy and Germany.
Managing director Kenny Jacobs says there is ‘no need’ for the industrial action, which he says is ‘harming the business’ and ‘reducing customer confidence’ at a time when fuel prices are rocketing.
“If they continue, we will unavoidably have to reconsider our capacity for growth for this winter and for summer 2019,” Jacobs says.
He is calling for unions to ‘use their common sense’ and ‘cooperate’ with Ryanair to ‘finalise agreements that benefit cabin crew and pilots in the next few weeks’.
“If we can successfully reach agreements with unions in Ireland, the UK, Germany and Italy, why can’t some of the unions in Belgium, The Netherlands and Spain do so?” Jacobs wonders.
Cabin crew have reported a top-down structure with ‘unapproachable’ bosses, threats of disciplinary action for striking, union representatives having to carry out their duties outside of working hours, and generally poor conditions and pay.
When they are placed on compulsory stand-by for a week at a time, they are not paid unless they are summoned to work, and they do not start earning for their flights until doors-to-manual.
Cabin crew have reported ‘pressure’ to sell items on board, for which they receive a commission.
Unions across Europe have called for Ryanair to comply with employment law in countries where pilots and cabin crew are based.