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Ryanair downplays impact of staff strikes

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Passengers stand near the Ryanair check-in counters during a strike at Madrid’s airport, on June 24, 2022.


PARIS (AFP) – Budget airline Ryanair has downplayed the impact of staff strikes this weekend, saying there was “very minor disruption” to its schedule.

Ryanair cabin crew unions called a three-day strike over pay and working conditions starting on Friday in Spain, Portugal and Belgium, and in Italy and France on Saturday.

In a statement on Sunday (June 26), the company said less than two per cent of its 9,000 flights operating since Friday had been affected by what it called “minor and poorly supported crew strikes”.

Europe’s biggest airline blamed cancelled flights in Spain, Italy, the UK and France on thunderstorms in southern Europe and a strike at Marseille’s air traffic control centre.

But trade unions dispute this. France’s SNPNC said 36 out of 80 Ryanair flights were cancelled due to the strike on Saturday, listing a further 16 on Sunday.

Spain’s Union Sindical Obrera said 75 flights were cancelled on Saturday in Madrid, Barcelona, Palma, Ibiza, Santiago and Girona, with 42 flights cancelled and around 60 delayed on Sunday.

Belgium’s Charleroi airport was the worst hit with 44 cancelled return flights on Saturday but none on Sunday, according to Ryanair’s Scorebuddy website. SNPNC representative Damien Mourgues has previously said Ryanair does not respect rest time laws and is calling for a raise for cabin crew still paid at the minimum wage.

Ryanair cabin crew unions in Spain have called another strike from June 30 to July 2. The airline said it had notified “passengers whose flights were disrupted by any ATC (air traffic control) delays/strikes or weather disruption”, but did not say if it was setting up a refund procedure.

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