Spain? Strike. Portugal? Strike. Belgium? Strike. Italy? Strike. Ireland? Strike. It has not been a good month for Ryanair…
The Irish-based carrier is facing a summer of discontent as labor strife across its European bases spirals into total disaster. I don’t think I’m exaggerating.
Hundreds of flights have been cancelled over the last week as pilots and fight attendants have staged strikes across the European Union. Ryanair is threatening to fire over 300 pilots and FAs based in Ireland over disagreements on wages and working conditions.
As Bill Murphy, Jr. noted on INC, over the last eight days more than 120,000 passengers have faced delays. Clams under EU261 could total over $39,000,000!
Other Airlines Gleefully Recruit
British Airways, EasyJet, and Norwegian are all hoping to poach disgruntled pilots and flight attendants from Ryanair. Recruiting campaigns are actively underway.
The transition to Norwegian, which uses the same type of Boeing 737s that Ryanair does, would be easy for pilots. British Airways and EasyJet uses Airbus for their narrow-body fleet, but could offer an expedited re-training program for ex-Ryanair pilots. Flight attendants will also encounter an easy transition.
Ryanair employees unionized last year after the airline screwed up vacation schedules for pilots. Since then, pilots and flights attendants have begun to push back. As a pilot shortage grips the worldwide aviation industry, Ryanair pilots have enjoyed a particularly strong position of bargaining power. What will this labor unrest do for Ryanair? Right now, we can only watch…but it isn’t pretty for the Irish carrier.
image: Ryanair / Instagram