Now Irish Ryanair Pilots Could Go On Strike

The voting is over and the ballots are all in. Yesterday, Ryanair’s union pilots based in Ireland voted to strike. Of the members of IALPA, the Irish Air Line Pilots’ Association, who voted, 94% were in favor of industrial action. This is the third labor dispute notice regarding Ryanair pilots arising within the span of a week.

London Marston Airport
The two strikes by UK’s unionized pilots will take place in late August and early September. Photo via Pixabay

What the union is saying

According to the BBC, IALPA said its decision is an indication of the frustration and disappointment of pilots with a lack of progress in ongoing pay talks. RTÉ reports that, early next week, the union will inform managers of strike plans unless the airline agrees to union pay proposals before Monday.

Fórsa assistant general secretary Ian McDonnell says Ryanair can avoid industrial action if airline management engages professionally and constructively in talks. IALPA is part of the greater Fórsa union. Here’s more of what he had to say:

“Ryanair’s directly-employed Irish-based pilots are simply seeking pay levels that are common and competitive in the commercial airline sector, from a company that made a more-than-healthy profit of €1 billion last year…They feel they have been forced into contemplating potentially disruptive industrial action by a company that seems either unwilling or unable to negotiate in a professional and constructive manner. At this stage, only a substantive counter-proposal, which properly addresses all areas of our claim, will be enough to prevent us serving notice of industrial action next week.”

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Ryanair low cost model
With around 420 aircraft, Ryanair’s is one of the biggest fleets in Europe. Photo: Ryanair

Ryanair’s response

In response to the vote results, Ryanair expressed disappointment. It said the union was “threatening to disrupt customers’ travel plans during August”.

The airline’s response was similar to its statement after the announcement of a UK pilot’s strike. It claims the strike has the support of a minority of Ryanair pilots. It also accuses the unions of bad timing with the Brexit deadline looming.

“Fórsa are still unable to explain what pay increase they are seeking on top of the 20% increase already agreed…At a time when Ryanair pilots resignations have dwindled to zero because Ryanair pilots are better paid than 737 competitors in Norwegian and Jet2.”

In fact, Ryanair says that fewer than half of its Irish pilots are members of the union with fewer than 60% of members taking part in the vote.

The overall situation as it stands

This is not the first time this has happened. The airline was hit with several strikes last summer as talks over contracts and pay failed to reach an agreement.

Ryanair Baggage Fees Ticket Prices
The airline says it has a surplus of roughly 900 staff that will need to go. Photo: novakrider via Pixabay

Do the possible strikes have an effect on your upcoming travel plans? Let us know by leaving a comment!

7 comments
  1. I think that Mr. O’Leary doesn’t realize that when the general public starts judging Ryanair flights being uncertain he’s business model goes down the drain. Passengers will stop flying with Ryanair if he doesn’t get his act together.

  2. What shall I do if my flight on the 22nd August at 10:20 with Ryanair from Barcelona to Manchester may be cancelled.

  3. Some friends and I planned a trip to Dublin in late September however in this uncertain situation of strike action going on We cancelled our Accomodation and were not prepared to book flights with Rynair

  4. I have had to make alternative travel arrangement going by car ferry costing £404 as I am due to give a heritage presentation that weekend in Galway and couldn’t take any chances. How do I try to recoup the £207 pounds for our two fairs?

    1. Hi Jeanne,

      It looks like if you self-cancel you won’t be able to recoup anything – sorry!
      I’ll share with you a quote from an article from The Independent:

      “The airline and union both say they do not want the strikes to go ahead. Even if they do, a significant number of Ryanair flights will operate. The only time the airline will offer a refund is once cancellations have been decided, two or three days ahead.

      At this point cancelling for a refund would be unwise, because is absolves the airline of making alternative arrangements for your travel …”

      Source: https://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/ryanair-flights-strike-pilot-latest-update-2019-a9046236.html

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