BERLIN – Ryanair pilots began a strike in several European countries on Friday, forcing the Irish low-cost airline to cancel hundreds of flights.
The German Airline Pilots Association (Vereinigung Cockpit) had announced on Wednesday that Ryanair pilots would be going on a 24-hour strike on Aug. 10.
An epa-efe journalist at Berlin Schoenefeld airport on Friday morning reported lighter than normal traffic, although several flights were running as planned.
“Despite the regrettable and unjustified strike action taking place in 5 of our 37 markets on Friday, over 2,000 flights (85%) of the schedule will operate as normal,” a Ryanair statement on Friday said.
The pilots of Ryanair in Germany, Belgium, Sweden and Ireland were striking for 24 hours in protest against the stagnation of negotiations on wages and working conditions, which has forced the company to cancel almost 400 of the 2,400 flights scheduled on Friday.
Around 55,000 passengers across Europe will be affected by the strike action, almost 42,000 of them in Germany, where 250 flights will be affected.
The pilots are demanding better working conditions and pay.
Ryanair’s main bases in Germany are at the airports at Frankfurt, Berlin and Weeze, in the Lower Rhine region, although they are not the only ones affected.