Pilots union Balpa has said Ryanair rejected “out of hand” its offer to enter talks on Wednesday evening to avert planned strike action by its Ryanair members on Thursday and Friday (22-23 August).
Ryanair on Wednesday (21 August) failed in its bid to halt the strikes when the High Court rejected its application for an injunction. The airline has said it will operate a full schedule despite the walkouts.
Balpa accused the budget carrier of trying to stop the strikes via a technicality after its Ryanair members earlier this month voted four to one in favour of strike action on a 72% turnout.
However, it said it would re-enter talks with Ryanair on Wednesday evening after the High Court ruling via a framework designed to encourage “constructive negotiations”.
This though, the union said, was rejected.
“Ryanair foolishly tried to stop our strike in the High Court today [Wednesday] and failed,” said Balpa general secretary Brian Strutton.
“Despite that, we extended an olive branch to Ryanair as a way of getting back around the table and calling off strikes over the next two days. We are extremely disappointed Ryanair have taken such a belligerent and negative stance. It is their passengers who will pay the price for Ryanair’s attitude.”
Ryanair has instructed passengers due to travel to or from UK airports on Thursday and Friday to arrive for their departures as scheduled, adding it did not expect “significant disruption” on either strike day but warned it could not rule out small delays or changes to flights.
Balpa’s Ryanair members will stage a second walkout over 2-4 September.
Ryanair did, however, win its High Court battle in Ireland on Wednesday to block a proposed strike by its Irish pilots, also scheduled for Thursday and Friday.
The High Court in Dublin ruled Irish pilots union Forsa had not allowed talks with the airline to reach a conclusion before calling the strikes.
In a statement, Ryanair said all of its flights scheduled to depart Irish airports in Thursday and Friday would operate as normal.