Summer Holidays Threatened As Ryanair Cancels 600 Flights Due To Strikes
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Disruption is expected for 50,000 passengers as planned strikes mean Ryanair will have to cancel 600 flights to and from Belgium, Portugal and Spain on 25 and 26 July.
It could be very bad news if you've booked a Ryanair flight to whisk you away on your summer holiday this year, as they are having to cancel up to 300 flights per day because of coordinated strikes by cabin crew in the three countries, which are some of Britain's favourite tourist destinations.
Most of the cancellations are flights to, from or within Spain, where the company will cancel around a quarter of its 830 scheduled flights.
A spokesperson for the airline said: "All affected customers have been offered re-accommodation on alternative flights during the seven days prior to 25/26 July, or the seven days after.
"Alternatively, these customers can obtain a full refund of their airfares."
Italian cabin crew have also threatened to strike on 25 July but Ryanair are yet to respond.
Ryanair staff aren't happy because of ongoing issues around pay and working conditions. On 4 July, cabin crew issued the company with 34 demands which include a 'fair living wage', a 'fair, universal pension scheme', 'predictable working hours' and 'not being forced to open an Irish bank account'.
The strike is being coordinated by a group called Cabin Crews United through the International Transport Workers' Federation. The planned strikes come shortly after the company's largest strike to date on 12 July when 30 flights were cancelled because of striking pilots in Ireland.
Ryanair pilots in Dublin are also striking on Friday 20 July, one of the busiest days of the summer, causing the cancellation of 24 further flights affecting 4,000 passengers - and another pilots' strike is scheduled for 24 July.
A spokesperson from Cabin Crews United said: "Ryanair has yet to provide any concrete improvement in pay and conditions for any workers across its network.
"It is clear that Ryanair has a long way to go before it wins a reputation as a good employer."
The company only recognised trade unions for the first time in its 32-year history in December.
The airline's chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs said staff enjoyed 'great pay' of £35,700 per year and 'industry-leading' rosters with 14 days off each month, as well as sick pay and uniform allowances.
He said: "Ryanair sincerely apologises to our customers for these disruptions, which we have done our utmost to avoid.
"These strikes are entirely unjustified and will achieve nothing other than to disrupt family holidays and benefit competitor airlines in Belgium, Portugal and Spain."