Ryanair pilots strike in Germany, 4 other countries

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Over 2,000 Ryanair flights, representing 85 percent of schedule, will operate as normal, carrying nearly 400,000 customers across Europe.

Belgian passenger Stephane Levens, who had to cancel several business meetings after her return flight from Italy was scrapped, was sanguine about the disruption.

Ryanair pilots in Germany and the Netherlands will join a wave of strikes against the no-frills carrier across Europe on Friday, escalating a row over pay and conditions at the height of the summer season.

This week it was announced that strike action by pilots across Europe is expected to cause maximum disruption to summer getaways, with around 250 Ryanair flights cancelled.

Nearly 400 flights have been grounded across Europe, with that figure set to rise sharply with pilots in the Netherlands deciding to join the walkout yesterday.

Three Italian unions representing mainly cabin and ground crew staged a four-hour strike because they were not included in contract negotiations with Ryanair.

However, it has been unable to quell rising protests over slow progress in negotiating collective labor agreements.

Unrest among pilots and staff since 2017 has forced the Ryanair management to acknowledge workers' unions for the first time - something it had previously refused to do.

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"Often, it happens that our working day does not start at our home base, meaning we have to travel by train at our own expenses to another airport", they added.

But Ryanair pilots say they earn less than counterparts at other airlines like Lufthansa.

However, Ryanair is reportedly refusing to refund passengers for costs outside of their original ticket price, saying that the strike amounts to "exceptional, unavoidable circumstances". "The strike may go ahead", judge Theo Roell said.

Ryanair strike: nearly 400 flights cancelled - what to do if you're affectedAround 250 flights have been cancelled, forcing passengers who planned on travelling today to re-book or take different routes.

VC president Martin Locher said the union is demanding improvements in pay and working conditions.

It has further angered unions by threatening to move jobs away from bases affected by the stoppages, and began carrying that out in Dublin where it cut its winter fleet by 20% and put over 300 employees on preliminary notice.

"The majority of customers have already been accommodated on another Ryanair flight".

It says all affected passengers have been given the option to change to a different flight or request a full refund.

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