Dutch Ryanair pilots plan Friday strike as carrier takes union to court

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The airline said that over 2,000 flights, or 85 percent of the schedule, would operate as normal and that the majority of passengers affected have been re-booked on other Ryanair services.

Ryanair is facing a rising tide of protests from unions frustrated at the slow progress being made in negotiations over collective labour agreements.

It already suffered a round of strikes by cockpit and cabin crew last month that disrupted 600 flights in Belgium, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain, affecting 100,000 travellers.

"We expect the company to lower profit guidance for FY19 as it lowers capacity, on both strike disruption and crew shortages, and see weaker unit revenue trends as strike-affected traffic is redeployed on to operating flights and as passengers book away from what is now a less reliable travel option than usual", HSBC analyst Andrew Lobbenberg said.

But at about the same time Ryanair issued a statement saying there would be no cancellations.

Unrest among pilots and staff since 2017 has forced the Ryanair management to acknowledge workers' unions for the first time - something it had previously refused to do.

But a court said yesterday Ryanair pilots in the Netherlands could not be prevented from doing so. They even don't do a refund.

Other concerns are the status of contractors whose working conditions are not as good as those enjoyed by permanently employed staff and employee contracts based on Irish legislation.

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The airline has said that 85% of their flights will take off, "carrying nearly 400,000 customers across Europe".

He said: "Salaries can reach €190,000 per year, and are on average €150,000".

He added that Ryanair had already offered a 20 per cent pay rise this year, and 80 per cent of its pilots in Germany were now on permanent contracts.

But its combative chief executive Michael O'Leary has also warned the airline may shift jobs and planes to more profitable areas if the turmoil continues.

Unions have strongly condemned what they see as Ryanair's attempts to play countries off against each other.

'Ryanair took every step to minimise the disruption and we notified our customers as early as possible advising them of their free move, refund or reroute options, ' the carrier said.

But the "once in a lifetime experience" of being at her best friend Justine's wedding seems impossible now, after Ryanair cancelled her flight with two days' notice.

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