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Fórsa’s Niall Shanahan held talks with Ryanair bosses. Picture: Colin O'Riordan

Risk of even more flight cancellations as Ryanair pilots strike

Fórsa’s Niall Shanahan held talks with Ryanair bosses. Picture: Colin O’Riordan

 

Sixteen more Ryanair flights are at risk of being cancelled on Tuesday, as strike disruptions escalate without any resolution between the Fórsa union and the airline in sight.

Ryanair pilots will first strike today, affecting 4,000 customers flying between Ireland and the UK, with the airline labelling the action “unnecessary”.

And last night it emerged 16 more flights were set to be cancelled by the airline next Tuesday after strike notification from the Fórsa union representing Irish pilots.

Ryanair last night tweeted a letter it had addressed to Fórsa, stating the airline “calls on Fórsa to call off July 24 strike by less than 25pc of our Irish pilots”.

The letter addressed to Angela Kirk, national secretary of the union in Dublin, referred to a meeting the airline had with Fórsa on Wednesday.

“While this meeting was primarily to update the new members of your team, nothing has progressed since we have got no engagement or response from the pilots’ committee on Ryanair’s proposals…”

The airline stated that unless it hears back from the union “we will issue cancellations tomorrow (Friday) to passengers on 16 (of over 290) flights to/from Ireland next Tuesday”.

The company said it could “readily re-accommodate this small number of customers on other flights”, and added: “Fórsa’s lack of urgency is unacceptable when your committee is unable to engage or negotiate.”

But Niall Shanahan, spokesman for Fórsa, told the Irish Independent: “Ryanair management made no reference to the strike action during our meeting with them yesterday.”

The pilots are holding a 24-hour stoppage today and they also plan to go on strike on Tuesday.

Pilots are seeking a master seniority list to be established to give those with the longest tenure the first option to promotions, holidays and base transfers.

Regarding today’s action, the airline said 90pc of the 4,000 customers affected had been re-accommodated.

Customer service teams were assisting passengers with refunds, free transfers and alternative flights.

Ryanair will also be affected by strikes from cabin crew in Belgium, Portugal and Spain on Wednesday, July 25 and Thursday, July 26.

The Irish Independent asked if any of 300 cancelled flights each day would affect Irish passengers, but did not receive any information.

Ryanair has said that some 12pc of its customers will be affected by these cancellations.

Irish Independent

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