Ryanair Italy Pilots To Strike Next Week

December 6, 2017

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The fraught relationship between Ryanair and its pilots looks set to continue as a union representing its Italy-based flight crew called a four hour strike next week, the first involving pilots in the airline’s history.

The ANPAC union said pilots will strike from 13:00 to 17:00 (1pm-5pm) on Friday December 15.

ANPAC's Ryanair Council was formed last month, and is one of a number of works councils newly established to encourage the airline towards pan-European agreements with its pilots. Ryanair is firmly opposed to any unionisation of its workforce.

On Tuesday some of Ryanair’s pilots based in Portugal also served notice of possible industrial action.

Commenting on the Portuguese announcement, Irish Air Line Pilots’ Association (IALPA) president Evan Cullen said “The pilot issues which gave rise to the flight cancellations in Ryanair earlier this year have not been adequately addressed. Ryanair pilots, who are members of IALPA, are currently examining their options.”

Ryanair in a statement said "This is the sixth time FIT/CISL or ANPAC has announced strikes by Ryanair pilots, only to postpone/cancel them later. We expect this latest threatened strike will also be postponed/cancelled since both FIT/CISL and ANPAC are Alitalia unions with no role in Ryanair."

Ryanair cancelled 20,000 flights affecting hundreds of thousands of passengers as a pilot shortage caused chaos during the busy summer travel season.

The shortage was partially caused by a change of annual leave year for flight crew from the current April-March period to January-December next year. This caused a crush of leave-taking in the nine months between April and December.

Ryanair has been busy recruiting additional pilots to make up the shortfall, and in October tempted former manager in charge of pilots, Peter Bellew, back to Ireland from his post as chief executive of Malaysia Airlines.

EDIT: To include Ryanair statement.