No one wants to think about having tickets on an airline and having the airline’s pilots go on strike. This article goes over the likelihood of this happening, and what you can expect if it does. Like most people I would avoid booking a ticket because it will likely be a nightmare if they do strike to find a seat on a different carrier. Factor in that if the strike does happen it is over a holiday weekend and you can expect you won’t be flying anywhere with anyone if your flight is cancelled.
Ryanair passengers are staring down the barrel of holiday disruption this summer, after the low-cost airline’s pilots said it was to ballot on strike action next week.
Members of the British Airline Pilots Association (Balpa), which represents Ryanair pilots based in the UK, are in dispute with the airline over pay and conditions. They will vote next week, with the results announced on August 7, and possible industrial action following shortly after.
Balpa general secretary Brian Strutton said: “Our Ryanair representatives have been trying to tackle some of the many issues that result from years of non-recognition of unions within Ryanair. But we have not been able to make any progress with Ryanair at all on any of our areas of concern. As usual with Ryanair, it’s their way or the highway, and we are not prepared to put up with that.”
Ryanair has not responded to a request for comment, but its chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs said on Wednesday that he hoped to sign a labour agreement with Vereinigung Cockpit in Germany and that he did not expect strikes elsewhere in Europe.
The potential walk-outs follow a series of strikes by staff of the Irish carrier in autumn last year, during which around 250 flights were cancelled. The airline also suffered industrial action last August.
Ryanair is not the only airline preparing for the possibility of strikes. British Airways pilots with Balpa are also balloting for action, over pay.
Three of the UK’s busiest airports could also be hit by strike action as the busiest travel season of the year gets underway.
Unite has threatened “chaos” at London Heathrow, with more than 4,000 staff, including security guards and engineers, planning to walk out in a dispute over pay. The union said it could “shut down the airport”.
The strike days are planned for July 26-27, August 5-6, and August 23-24 (the bank holiday weekend).