Ryanair: Flights running normally despite UK pilots' strike

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Ryanair said flights from British and Irish airports were departing without disruption on Thursday morning despite a strike by UK-based pilots.

The airline said the schedule was operating with 97% punctuality despite the 48-hour industrial action going ahead after it failed in a last-ditch High Court bid to block it.

Ryanair did succeed, however, in obtaining an injunction at Dublin’s high court to prevent action by Irish-based pilots that had also been due to take place on Thursday and Friday.

The airline has said that the striking UK pilots, members of the British Airline Pilots Association (Balpa), represent less than 30% of those operating its aircraft there.

July 2019: Ryanair to cut hundreds of jobs because it has ‘more staff than needed’

In an update on Thursday morning, Ryanair said: “All first wave flights to and from UK airports departed as scheduled this morning, with 97% punctuality and without any disruption.

“We expect this to continue for the remainder of Thursday and Friday.

“This strike does not have the support of the vast majority of UK pilots, and we call on Balpa to return to the mediation process instead of disrupting our customers and their families further.”

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A second round of strikes is planned from 2-4 September as part of the dispute over pay and conditions.

Balpa said dealing with the strike had come at “huge cost to the company”.

General secretary Brian Strutton said: “Ryanair needs to wake up to the reality that its pilots are determined to seek change.

“They need to put a serious offer on the table so that this industrial action, brought about by the company’s flat refusal to even look at the needs of its workforce and passengers, can be brought to an end.”

Ryanair is also in the middle of a five-day cabin crew walkout in Portugal, but ran a full schedule without major delays on Wednesday and saw most flights operating as normal early on Thursday.

Separately, the airline announced last month that it was preparing to announce hundreds of job cuts because it has more staff than it currently needs, including a surplus of over 500 pilots.

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