Ryanair said it has been forced to cancel 250 flights to and from Germany on Friday (August 10) due to what it claims is an “unjustified strike” over pay and conditions by the pilot union Vereinigung Cockpit (VC).
The Irish low-cost carrier said the union refused to give it seven days’ notice of the strike so it could minimise customer disruption.
Affected customers were notified by 3pm yesterday (8 Aug) and could take a refund, free move to the next available flight or reroute.
Ryanair said this strike is “unnecessary” as it had already sent VC a revised proposal on Friday, 3 August on a Collective Labour Agreement and the airline has called on VC to “meet and continue meaningful negotiations rather than call strikes.”.
Unions in Ireland, Sweden and Belgium are also set to go on strike tomorrow causing further disruption across Ryanair’s vast network and it cancelled about 150 flights due to these planned strikes.
Ryanair’s chief marketing officer, Kenny Jacobs said: “We regret the decision of the VC to go ahead with this unnecessary strike action given that we sent through a revised proposal on a Collective Labour Agreement (on Fri 3 Aug) and stated our intention to work towards achieving a CLA together. We also invited VC to meet us on Tuesday (7 Aug) but they did not respond to this invitation.
“Our pilots in Germany enjoy excellent working conditions. They are paid up to €190,000 p.a. and, as well as additional benefits, they received a 20% pay increase at the start of this year. Ryanair pilots earn at least 30% more than Eurowings and 20% more than Norwegian pilots.
“We asked VC to provide us with at least 7 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 (as confirmed by our Aug 3 proposal). We again call on the VC to remove the threat of an unjustified and unnecessary strike, to commit to providing reasonable (7 days) 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, 10 August. We apologise to our customers for this unnecessary strike and regrettable disruption.”
Flight operations are scheduled to resume normal services on Saturday, 11 August 2018.