Holidaymakers are set to be plunged into travel turmoil – after budget airline Ryanair scrapped 600 flights in a row with cabin crew.
Disgruntled flight attendants working for the Irish airline will stage a mass walkout on July 25 and 26 – affecting flights to Spain, Portugal and Belgium.
Ryanair, which was Europe’s busiest airline last year with 128.8m passengers, operates a number of flights between Birmingham Airport and those European destinations.
It is unclear exactly how many Birmingham flights have been cancelled.
Ryanair said it had planned for the strike by cancelling flights to ‘minimise the impact’ on people travelling on holidays to Portugal, Spain and Belgium.
But they said the cabin crew strikes were ‘entirely unjustified’ and will only ‘disrupt family holidays’.
The mass walkout will affect 50,000 passengers – around 12 per-cent of Ryanair customers.
The low-cost airline claim all those affected have been offered re-accommodation or alternative flights.
Ryanair’s Kenny Jacob’s said: “Ryanair sincerely apologises to our customers for these disruptions which we have done our utmost to avoid.
“Given that Ryanair cabin crew enjoy great pay – up to 40,000 EUROS per annum, industry leading rosters, great sales commissions, uniform allowances and sick pay, these strikes are entirely unjustified and will achieve nothing other than to disrupt family holidays and benefit competitor airlines in Belgium, Portugal and Spain.
“All affected customers have been contacted by email and SMS text message earlier today and we will re-accommodate or refund all of those whose flights have been disrupted.”
Unions in all Spain, Belgium and Portugal are calling for Ryanair staff be employed according to the national legislation of the country they operate in, rather than that of Ireland as is currently the case.
They also want the airline to give contractors the same work conditions as its own employees.
The European cabin crew strike follows on from separate industrial action by Ryanair’s Irish-based pilots.
Thirty Ryanair flights were cancelled last Thursday, affecting some 5,000 passengers, after the pilots staged their first strike over pay and their conditions of employment.
Another 24-hour walk-out is planned for Tuesday.
If you are travelling to Belgium, Portugal or Spain next Wednesday or Thursday and haven’t yet received an email or text, then your fight should be going ahead as planned.