Several thousand passengers across Europe were hit by disruptions, thanks to strikes cancelling around 250 RyanAir flights. The strikes were a result of an ongoing feud between RyanAir and Union employees concerning the working conditions for staff. Workers from multiple countries state that RyanAir hasn’t been providing favorable working conditions for its staff.
The recent strike was one of the most significant actions to be taken by the staff. Around 35,000 passengers were said to have been affected by it. However, 90% of the carrier’s flights remained operational. Stansted was one of the worst affected airports, with around 20 flights being cancelled. According to a reporter from The Independent, a majority of the cancelled flights were from and to Germany.
Reports also indicated that around eight services from/to Manchester and to/from locations such as Faro, Malaga, Berlin, and Barcelona were also grounded. The same was true for flights from East Midlands to Malaga, and Birmingham to Lanzarote.
RyanAir Cried foul
RyanAir stated that the strike had occurred in only 6 of the 37 markets it currently caters to and that 400,000 of its passengers weren’t affected by the strikes at all. The carrier, which apologized to the affected customers, went on to claim that the actions of the unions were unjustified and regrettable.
The initial decision to strike was made by cabin crew and pilots across various countries. This was strengthened further by strikes from German pilots, who stated that they would be joining their Belgian and Danish colleagues in favor of taking action.
Some of the other locations that saw RyanAir staff going on strike included Spain, Portugal, and Italy.
RyanAir suggests a conspiracy by rivals
According to RyanAir, the strikes are a result of competitors’ attempts to tarnish the carrier’s image. To support the argument, the company pointed out to examples of how the people organizing the strikes were actually employees from rival airlines.
For instance, the carrier claims that the strike in Spain was organized by a crew member from Alicante.
Similarly, the strike in Portugal is believed to have been started by a TAP cabin crew member. RyanAir even claimed that the strike wasn’t supported by the carrier’s own cabin crew.
In Italy, where it entered into a CLA agreement with 3 major cabin crew unions, the strike is believed to have been organized by a completely different union, which, allegedly, has no connection with the people who actually work for RyanAir.
RyanAir is said to have contacted the affected passengers via email and text to advise them on the options available. The carrier had also issued an apology. However, it has rejected the CAA’s (Civil Aviation Authority’s) requests to provide compensation, citing that the cancellations and delays were the result of extraordinary circumstances.
Though this is technically right, experts have stated that RyanAir is wrong and a recent case in Germany had set a new precedent with regard to the “extraordinary circumstances” clause.