Ryanair strike update: Airline loses High Court bid to halt UK pilots walkout

Katy Clifton, Bonnie Christian
Ryanair pilots are planned to strike from just after midnight on August 22: AFP/Getty Images

Ryanair has lost its High Court bid to block strike action by its UK pilots.

An application by the airline for an injunction was heard by a judge in London on Wednesday.

The proceedings before Mrs Justice Lambert came just hours before industrial action was due to start by members of the British Airline Pilots Association (Balpa) in a dispute over pay and conditions.

Ahead of the High Court ruling, Ryanair said it expects to operate its full schedule of flights to and from UK airports today and Friday despite planned walkouts.

Ryanair has lost its High Court bid to block the strikes (Getty)

A spokesman said: "Ryanair applied today to the London High Court for an injunction to prevent this unjustified strike by a small number of pilots going ahead during the last week of the UK school holidays.

"However, thanks to the great work and volunteerism of the vast majority of our UK based pilots, Ryanair now expects to operate its full schedule of flights to and from our UK airports on Thursday and Friday.

"We do not expect significant disruptions on Thursday or Friday, however we cannot rule out some small flight delays and flight changes.

"We are working hard with our pilot teams to minimise any such delays for our customers and their families."

The union said earlier this week that because Ryanair "has wasted time with unnecessary court action, their chance to resolve the dispute involving their pilots has been lost".

It added: "Instead Ryanair is relying on legal technicalities to try to persuade the High Court to block the strike.

"Ryanair is seeking a High Court injunction on Wednesday to stop strike action by UK Ryanair pilots, due to take place on Thursday and Friday this week, with a second round of dates in September."

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Balpa general secretary Brian Strutton said: "Ryanair pilots in the UK have a serious dispute with their company which will not be resolved by raising legal technicalities in the High Court.

"Their attempt to block lawful strike action is just another demonstration of the bullying tactics the airline appears to favour.

"It means all the time that could have been used to try to find a resolution will now be spent preparing for the court action.

"It's also worrying to see Ryanair continue to sell tickets for strike days - are they prepared to offer compensation to passengers if they are affected?

"I think they should tell passengers exactly where they stand."

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