Ryanair, the low-cost Irish airline, expects that strike action planned for the next two days will not affect flights. The airline earlier today won an injunction preventing Irish pilots from going on strike.
Ryanair’s UK pilots in the BALPA union voted to take strike action in a row over pay and conditions. The union previously cited that it was tabling action due to issues over “pensions, loss of license insurance, maternity benefits, allowances, and a fair, transparent, and consistent pay structure”.
Irish strike suspended
The first bit of good news for both Ryanair and their passengers came from the Irish High Court this morning. The court granted an injunction preventing the proposed strike of Irish pilots from going ahead. According to the BBC, the injunction was granted as the Irish pilots union “had not let talks reach a conclusion before announcing the strike”.
As a result, Justice McDonald of the high court in Dublin has ruled that the pilot’s union, Forsa, is prohibited from “directly or indirectly, organising, directing or endorsing” strike action. As a result, Ryanair says that all of its flights from Dublin, Cork and Shannon will operate as planned.
No UK disruption expected
UPDATE: After this article was written, it was announced that Ryanair’s injunction request at the UK high court was unsuccessful.
Ryanair has additionally gone to the UK High Court in London to attempt to secure a second injunction against strike action. At the time of writing, the result of this application is still outstanding. However, the Irish low-cost giant believes that any strike action will have little to no effect on its UK operations.
Ryanair expects to operate a full complement of flights tomorrow “thanks to the great work and volunteerism of the vast majority of our UK based pilots”. From this statement, it would appear to suggest that those pilots not rostered to fly tomorrow will come in to cover flights should a strike go ahead. Only 30% of the airline’s UK pilots voted to go on strike. In fact, the airline goes on to add “We sincerely thank the vast majority of our UK based pilots for volunteering to fly on Thurs & Fri”.
Return to mediation
Ryanair has called on both the UK and Irish pilot’s unions involved in strike action to return to mediation with their respective issues. It claims that its pilots are very well paid in both nations, adding,
“British pilots earning six figure annual salaries should not be threatening the holiday flights of thousands of British passengers and their families (very few of whom earn over £170,000 p.a.).”
A similar comment relevant to the Irish market was also published by the airline on a second press release. It is still possible for Ryanair to secure an injunction preventing strike action, however, should the strike go ahead, the airline expects the worst it will encounter is “small flight delays”.
What do you make of this latest news? Let us know in the comments.