Update 4.25pm: Ryanair has apologised to thousands of passengers who will be affected by a fifth strike by Irish-based pilots.
The airline said it will notify 3,500 Irish passengers of 20 further flight cancellations next Friday, August 10 and work over the coming days to re-accommodate those disrupted passengers. to whom we sincerely apologise.
"This 5th strike notice by Forsa is irresponsible, unwarranted and is disrupting customers and (a way of damaging) Ryanair’s business," said Ryanair’s CMO Kenny Jacobs.
"Forsa has called for meetings with Ryanair, yet during each of the last two weeks when Ryanair has invited Forsa to meet, Forsa has rejected these invitations and instead called a fourth strike tomorrow, and now a fifth strike by just 25% of Irish pilots."
Ryanair said the strikes are being driven by Aer Lingus pilots.
"In most unions where four strikes have failed to have any effect, the unions and employer would be entering into negotiations to resolve the dispute. In this case, after four days of unsuccessful strikes, a handful of Aer Lingus pilots are working behind the scenes with pilot unions in Sweden, Holland, Belgium, and Germany to further disrupt Ryanair’s business and Ryanair’s customers next Friday, August 10.
"Even when Ryanair invites Forsa to more meetings, Forsa just calls more strikes. Forsa should now explain why another 3,500 Irish customers will have their flights and holidays next Fri 10 Aug disrupted when Forsa have refused not one, but two invitations to meet with Ryanair to resolve this dispute. Forsa should also explain why when Ryanair has agreed nine of their 11 requirements, they call strikes rather than negotiate.
"Ryanair’s problem in this dispute is that Forsa are not in charge. It is being driven by a tiny handful of Aer Lingus pilots. Until Forsa removes these Aer Lingus pilots from the process, more strikes are inevitable, and more customers will have their flights unnecessarily disrupted for the benefit of Aer Lingus and other flag carrier airlines in Sweden, Belgium, Germany and Holland."
The airline apoligised to customers and called for Forsa to remove Aer Lingus pilots from their negotiations.
"We apologise sincerely to the 3,500 Irish customers whose flights next Friday, August 10 will be disrupted simply because Forsa won’t accept our offers to meet us to resolve this dispute, even though we have agreed nine of Forsa’s 11 requirements, and why when we have met them, they can’t/won’t negotiate without deferring to Aer Lingus pilots who are outside the room.
Irish-based Ryanair pilots are to stage their fifth one-day strike next week.
The 24-hour stoppage will start next Friday August 10 at 1am.
It is not yet clear how many flights and passengers will be affected by the industrial action.
This is the fifth strike by pilots since July 12. Last month, the budget airline criticised the strikes as unnecessary and warned that if they continue, there could be job losses.
Trade union Forsa, which represents the pilots, hit out at the airline company following the warning.
It said that the pilots continue to seek a “fair and transparent method” to govern base transfers and related matters which they say is common practice in the industry.
In a statement, Forsa said on Thursday: “For over a month, the union has said that industrial action is likely to continue until there is substantial movement on the pilots’ reasonable demands for an agreement on a fair and transparent approach to base transfers and related matters.
“In the 19 days since the first one-day strike took place, company management has agreed to just two hours of talks, despite Forsa’s repeated assurance that it is available for discussions at any time.
“The union has today told Ryanair that it remains available for talks.
“The airline’s escalation of the dispute last Wednesday when it threatened to sack 100 pilots and 200 cabin crew, or transfer them to Poland – led to a predictable hardening of resolve among its staff.
“Company management met the union the day before the first one-day strike, and two days before the second one-day strike (on July 18). It then changed its position and said it would not negotiate while strike action was planned.”
Ryanair today (Thurs August 2) asks FORSA to confirm they will meet us at 11am on August 7. https://t.co/ZAZMVweLpe— Ryanair (@Ryanair) August 2, 2018
The union said that two weeks have passed since their last meeting with management and warned that a resolution to the dispute cannot be reached if the airline has “precondition” talks.
The union added: “On a number of occasions in recent weeks and months, there have been suggestions that third-party facilitation could assist in reaching consensus on issues of disagreement.
“Forsa has today repeated to the company that it is willing to explore this option.”
- Press Association
Update 7.19am: The latest Ryanair traffic statistics show that the number of passengers carried by the airline grew to 13.1 million customers in July, a 4% increase on the same month last year.
The load factor remained unchanged at 97% on lower fares.
Ryanair’s Kenny Jacobs said: "Ryanair’s July traffic grew by 4% to 13.1 million customers, while our load factor remained strong at 97%, on the back of lower fares.
"Regrettably almost 200,000 Ryanair customers had their flights cancelled in July because of repeated ATC staff shortages in the UK, Germany and France, adverse weather, and unnecessary pilot and cabin crew strikes.
"Ryanair, together with other European airlines, calls for urgent action by the EU Commission and European governments to address the effect of these ATC staff shortages which are disrupting the travel plans of millions of Europe’s consumers this summer,” he said.
ATC Update: pic.twitter.com/MmCoyDw8uu— Ryanair (@Ryanair) August 1, 2018
Industrial unrest at the airline is ramping up as Irish passengers face a fourth day of strike action tomorrow.
Ryanair has confirmed that it expects tomorrow's planned strike by up to 100 pilots based in Dublin to go ahead.
The company has cancelled 20 flights, altering the travel plans of 3,5000 thousand passengers.
Belguim and Sweden announced yesterday that they will strike on August 10, while unions for German and Dutch-based pilots have suggested they will coordinate their action to take place on the same day.
Update: pic.twitter.com/B0bdlcGWe7— Ryanair (@Ryanair) August 1, 2018
In a statement, Ryanair said: “Ryanair has received notice of strikes on Fri 10 Aug next by pilot unions in Belgium and Sweden. We have also been notified of possible strike actions by pilot unions in Germany and the Netherlands which we believe will be coordinated and occur on Fri 10 Aug.
"We have written to each of these pilot unions today and invited them to meet us in the coming days to make further progress in concluding Union Recognition and Collective Labour Agreements in each of these markets.
"In the interim, we have requested these pilot unions to give us 7 days’ notice of any planned strike action so that we can notify our customers of cancelled flights in advance and offer them alternative flights or refunds.”
Elsewhere, the British Airline Pilots’ Association has issued a “failure to agree notice” to Ryanair.
That is the first of several steps towards strike action in their industrial relations process.