Ryanair says it will operate all flights to and from the UK over 2-4 September “as scheduled” despite planned strike action by pilots union Balpa.
The budget carrier is confident more than 95% of its UK pilots will work their rosters during the action called amid an ongoing dispute over pay and conditions.
Balpa’s Ryanair members in the UK voted four to one in favour of strike action earlier this month on a 72% turnout, staging a 48-hour walkout over 22-23 August.
Ryanair, though, claimed on the first day of the strike it operated all 892 of its scheduled flights to and from the UK with no cancellations.
And ahead of next week’s planned walkout, the airline believes it will be able to achieve the same feat. “All Ryanair flights to/from UK airports on 2-4 September will operate as scheduled thanks to the efforts of more than 95% of our UK pilots who have confirmed they will work their rosters and will not support this failed third Balpa strike,” said Ryanair in a statement on Wednesday (28 August).
“We do not expect any pilot strike disruptions to our schedule to/from our UK airports on 2-4 September.”
Ryanair added it had invited Balpa to resume negotiations this week and call off the strikes, but said the union had refused its repeated invitations.
Ahead of the first round of strikes, which Ryanair sought to halt via an ultimately unsuccessful legal challenge, Balpa said it gave Ryanair multiple opportunities - as late as the hours preceding the planned strike - to resume negotiations under a tighter framework.
Following the first strike day (22 August), the union said the walkout sent a strong message to Ryanair’s management that the airline needed to come forward and put a “serious offer” on the table.
“The pilots have walked out today [22 August] as a wake-up call to the company,” said Balpa. “They are calling for a consistent and transparent pay structure, adequate pension provision, loss of licence insurance and more appropriate maternity benefits.
“Ryanair needs to wake up to the reality that its pilots are determined to seek change,” general secretary Brian Strutton added.