Ryanair’s summer of strikes has worsened with pilots in Sweden, Belgium and the Netherlands voting for industrial action.
They have joined the pilots’ union in Ireland, which has had four days of strikes and another planned for August 10, and Germany, which has not yet announced the date of its strike. Cabin crew unions in Spain, Portugal and Belgium went on strike for two days at the end of July.
The Irish union’s next strike is set for August 10, when the Belgian Cockpit Association has urged its members to join in a sympathy strike. Also striking on August 10 will be members of the Swedish Pilots’ Association.
The MailOnline adds that the airline has blamed pilots from Aer Lingus who, it says, are using the strike to their advantage to cause the maximum damage to Ryanair. Ryanair’s chief people officer, Eddie Wilson, said: “Given the non-engagement by Forsa, and the manipulation of the discussions by certain Aer Lingus pilots to ensure that no meetings take place, that unsuccessful strikes keep repeating, Ryanair now feels the only way to introduce common sense is by way of third party mediation, and is suggesting Mr Kieran Mulvey, formerly of the Labour Commission and Workplace Relations Commission.”
The Times writes that Michael O’Leary lost out on almost €1 million last year after waiving his bonus as a result of Ryanair’s pilot rostering failure. The decision came despite record revenues of €7.15 billion, profits of €1.45 billion and passenger numbers of 130 million in 2017-18, according to the airline’s annual report.
The outspoken airline boss’s overall pay fell by 29 per cent from €3.25 million to €2.30 million last year. The total was made up of €1.058 million in basic pay and €1.25 million in shares. His bonus payment was €950,000 in 2016-17. Ryanair does not pay into Mr O’Leary pension or give other benefits, which the report states “is in keeping with the low-cost ethos of the airline”. In October 2014, Mr O’Leary signed a contract that commits him to the company until September 2019. His 3.9 per cent stake in the airline was worth €616 million at last night’s close.
In reaction to the strike action Ryanair has announced it will cut its Dublin-based fleet by 20 per cent this winter, following through on a threat intended to stop its Irish pilots from striking.
More than 100 pilots and 200 cabin crew could be affected by the move, the airline said yesterday. At least six of Ryanair’s 30 aircraft in Dublin will be sent to its Polish charter airline because of “a downturn in forward bookings and airfares in Ireland partly as a result of recent rolling strikes by Irish pilots”, it said, adding that strikes had “disturbed” consumer confidence in its Irish flight schedules.
Irish pilots staged strikes on July 12, 20 and 24 over pay and conditions. Peter Bellew, chief operating officer, said the move would “result in some aircraft reductions and job cuts in country markets where business has weakened or forward bookings are being damaged by rolling strikes by Irish pilots”. The company will consult on redundancies but will also offer transfers to Poland.