First European summer flights disrupted due to Ryanair cabin crew strike

·2-min read
© AFP/Oscar del Pozo

The first departures of the European summer were disrupted this weekend. Budget airline Ryanair downplayed the impact of staff strikes in Spain, Italy, the UK and France, saying there was "very minor disruption" to its schedule but more strikes are on the horizon.

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, the company said less than two percent 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.

Rest time laws, wages

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 30 June to 2 July.

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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