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'Think before buying a Ryanair ticket': Workers warn more strikes to come

22:57 31/07/2023

Ryanair workers are warning potential passengers who are planning to travel with the budget airline, saying more strikes are likely to come.

Strikes have already taken place, including a partial one last weekend that involved 30 Belgian pilots for Ryanair gathering at Charleroi airport, RTBF reports.

The partial strike affected 17,000 of the 60,000 Ryanair passengers with plans to fly that weekend.

“Think before you buy a Ryanair ticket, the strikes are likely to continue until October 2024,” CNE union delegate André Faber warned.

“We're obviously sorry for the passengers, but we have to make ourselves heard,” said Faber, who has been a pilot for Ryanair for 17 years.

“After several months of negotiations, we haven't managed to get back to the salary we had before the Covid period. That's a 17% reduction. With the inflation of recent months, this is an impossible situation for us.”

The Ryanair strike notice runs until October 2024. “So you risk further strikes between now and then, if management doesn't move,” Faber said.

“It's the future of our profession that's at stake here. What's more, Charleroi brings in an enormous amount of money for Ryanair. They can't leave this base.”

But, he said, pilots are leaving Ryanair: “Every month, four or five experienced Ryanair pilots leave for other companies where salaries are better and working conditions respectable.”

The partial strike continued into Sunday with 46 flights affected on top of Saturday’s 50.

CNE union Didier Lebbe told Belga that almost all of the flights operated by pilots based at Charleroi were cancelled over the weekend and most of the budget carrier’s aircraft that took off were based abroad.

“The company's attitude is helping us in our fight,” Lebbe said, describing the management as "provocative".

“They're hoping that the movement will run out of steam, but it's not running out of steam. And their attitude is only making us angrier.”

Written by Helen Lyons