Ryanair pilots across the country are today going on strike over disputed working conditions, beginning a 48 hour industrial action.
The Irish airline flies from 18 airports in the UK, and the walkout is leaving travellers concerned over whether their flights will be delayed or cancelled.
The airports affected by the strike are:
AberdeenBelfast InternationalBirminghamBournemouthBristolCardiffDerryEast MidlandsEdinburghGlasgowLeeds BradfordLiverpoolLondon GatwickLondon LutonLondon StanstedManchesterNewcastleNewquay Cornwall
However Ryanair has reassured customers that flights should not be impacted by the “pointless” strike.
The airline said in a statement yesterday, “Ryanair expects all its flights to/from UK airports on Wednesday 18th [and] Thursday 19th to operate as scheduled thanks to the efforts of over 95 per cent of our UK pilots who have confirmed that they will work their rosters, and will not support these failed BALPA strikes.
“On behalf of our customers and their families we wish to sincerely thank all our UK pilots who do not support these BALPA strikes.
“We have repeatedly invited BALPA to return to negotiations with Ryanair, and to call off these unsupported and failed pilot strikes, but BALPA have yet to offer any reason for their continuing refusal to take up these invitations.”
Industrial action is also expected on 21, 23, 25, 27 and 29 September.
Cancellations and delays are not expected to take place on the 21, however Ryanair has not said anything about the other dates when walkouts are planned.
Strike over pay and working conditions
BALPA has said the strike is down to a row over pay and working conditions.
“We are clear that we want to settle the dispute and bring about a change in Ryanair for the better,” BALPA General Secretary, Brian Strutton, said in a statement earlier this month.
“Pilots in Ryanair are seeking the same kind of policies and agreements that exist in other airlines – our demands are not unreasonable.
“We want to address issues like pensions; loss of licence insurance; maternity benefits; allowances; and harmonise pay across the UK in a fair, transparent, and consistent structure.
“While this action has considerably disrupted Ryanair, forcing them to engage contractors and bring in foreign crews to run its operation, it has had limited impact on the public’s travel plans.
“Ryanair should stop dragging its feet and get back to the negotiating table.”
Coincides with strikes in Spain
Ryanair recently announced the closure of two bases in the Canary Islands, with another closure of a base in Girone rumoured, angering union officials who believe it will lead to hundreds of job losses.
This has caused further striking in Spain, where all 13 bases where Ryanair operates will face potential disruption caused by walkouts.