At least 25,000 Ryanair passengers to be hit by cancellations on Friday

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The IRISH TIMES writes that at least 25,000 passengers will be hit by cancellations as Ryanair pilots in up to five countries walk out this Friday.

Reuters reports that German pilots will be striking for 24 hours from Friday, their union said on Wednesday, adding to action already planned in Ireland, Sweden and Belgium. The strike among pilots based in Germany will start at 0101 GMT on Friday, affecting all flights from Germany, Vereinigung Cockpit said in a statement.

So far, Ryanair has scrapped 146 flights due to the strike. Up to 3,500 passengers will be hit in Ireland, where the budget carrier has cancelled 20 of 300 flights.

Another 104 flights to and from Belgium will be grounded and 22 in Sweden.

Ryanair late last year said it would recognise unions, but has so far not agreed any collective labour deals with staff across Europe.

Ryanair has refused to pay compensation, which is worth €250 per person for UK flights, because it claims the strikes are an extraordinary circumstance.

However, the Commission for Aviation Regulation has encouraged passengers to claim it even if they received refunds or were accommodated on other flights.

If Ryanair turns down their request, they can appeal the decision to the regulator.

German pilot union Vereinigung Cockpit is holding a press conference today to reveal if it will join the industrial action.

A spokesman for the Dutch pilots’ union VNV said it is likely to reveal its intentions tomorrow. The spokesman said it only has to give up to 12 hours’ notice to the airline.

Read more here. 

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