British Airline Pilots' Association (BALPA) pilots will go on two-day strike against Ryanair from Thursday midnight. Ryanair had attempted to prevent the strike by approaching London and Dublin courts. While Dublin High Court prevented the Irish pilot association from going on strike, London High Court has ruled in favour of BALPA, allowing the strike to commence.
According to a tweet sent out by Ryanair, only 30% of the UK-based pilots were on strike. The tweet assured passengers that flights would run according to schedule with small delays. The airline's tweet indicated that the pilot strike was due to "unreasonable pay demands" by the pilots, which would damage the airline's finances. In the tweet, the airline also states that they would be willing to return to Mediation with BALPA and the pilots who have gone on strike.
However, BALPA reiterated that the strike was not about an unreasonable pay demand. According to The Telegraph, BALPA demands include pension after retirement, insurance against loss of license, maternity benefits and a fair and transparent pay structure across the UK.
It is not only UK pilots who are demanding better pay and working conditions. Ryanair is facing strikes in Portugal and Spain as well. Even though the Ireland-based pilots could not go on strike, simultaneous strikes from various sectors will impact the flight schedule.
BALPA General Secretary, Brian Strutton, has criticised the budget airline for trying to seek legal action instead of negotiating with the staff to reach a resolution. At the same time, Strutton has assured that the association is willing to return to negotiations. With the needs of the passengers in mind, the association wants to reach a suitable resolution with the airline.
If the mediation process does not work out in the coming days, there will be more strikes in September. Passengers who are scheduled to fly during the strikes can check their flight status on the official website. In case of flight cancellations passengers can claim full refunds or demand alternate travel arrangements.