Belgian Ryanair pilots to join French strike as travel chaos continues

·2-min read
Ryanair has announced a number of new routes from Belfast International Airport (Niall Carson/PA) (PA Wire)
Ryanair has announced a number of new routes from Belfast International Airport (Niall Carson/PA) (PA Wire)

Belgian Ryanair pilots will join the strike planned by their French counterparts on July 23 and 24, according to the Belgian public service broadcaster RTBF.

Dider Lebbe, permanent secretary of the CNE union, told RTBF on Monday that cabin crew members were demanding compliance with Belgian labour and a guaranteed minimum salary for all.

“The Belgian and French pilots will be on strike on 23 and 24 July, for the same reasons as during the previous strikes (24, 25 and 26 June),” Mr Lebbe told The Brussels Times.

“The reasons are always the same: the non-respect of legislation. But since the last strikes, the attitude of Ryanair’s management has become even more contemptuous and arrogant,” he added.

Earlier this month, dozens of flights were cancelled due to staff shortages in Paris.

Meanwhile, Ryanair workers in Spain are also set to strike, although the airline said it expected “minimal - if any - disruption to its flight schedules in July as a result of minor and poorly supported Spanish labour strikes.”

Spain-based Ryanair cabin crew, belonging to two unions, plan to strike for 12 days this month to demand better working conditions.

The strike action is expected on July 12-15, July 18-21, and July 25-28.

Members of the USO and SICTPLA unions were demanding a “change of attitude from the airline”, they said in a joint statement, and called on Ryanair to resume negotiations over issues such as minimum wage.

Some cabin crew in Belgium and Portugal also went on strike last month over pay and working conditions.

It is the latest action the affect the aviation industry, which has been shit by staff shortages at airports, with operations struggling to match soaring demand from holidaymakers now that Covid restrictions have been lifted.

The threat of strikes across Europe by airline employees and pilots is adding to the woes, with British holidaymakers warned to expect travel disruption over the summer period.

Carriers were ordered by the UK Government and the Civil Aviation Authority last month to make sure their timetables were “deliverable” after the sector was unable to cope with demand during the Platinum Jubilee half-term school holiday.

The Standard has contacted Ryanair for a comment.

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