Ryanair has played down the impact of the latest round of strike action by its UK pilots.
Pilots union Balpa’s Ryanair members in the UK staged the first of three days planned strike action on Monday (2 September).
They will additionally walk out on Wednesday and Thursday (3-4 September) in a dispute over pay and conditions. It follows a two-day walkout over 22-23 August.
Ryanair though said all its flights to and from UK airports on Monday morning departed as scheduled with 95% punctuality, impacted only by air traffic control delays.
“We do not expect any strike-related disruptions to our flights to/from our UK airports,” said Ryanair.
“On behalf of our customers and their families, we wish to thank all our UK pilots who did not support Balpa’s strike and have chosen to work to protect the flights and travel plans of our customers and their families.”
Balpa, though, said the action was “strongly supported” and forced Ryanair to bring in contractors and foreign crews to run its usual operation.
The union added Ryanair was continuing to snub its offer, under a strict framework, to resume talks at government conciliation service Acas.
“We hope this second round of walk-outs will signal the resolve of our members,” said Balpa general secretary Brian Strutton.
“Ryanair pilots simply want to bring about change in the company that will ensure its workforce are entitled to benefits that are seen across aviation in many other companies.”
Balpa says its Ryanair members want a consistent and transparent pay structure, adequate pension provision, loss of licence insurance and more appropriate maternity benefits.