Irish-based Ryanair pilots to strike on Friday of August bank holiday

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Stock Image: PA
Stock Image: PA

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Ryanair pilots are to take part in a fourth strike in Ireland on Friday, August 3.

Trade union Forsa has warned that further strike action may follow unless the airline’s management “changed tack”.

Earlier today, Ryanair approved plans to cut its Dublin-based fleet from 30 to 24 aircraft for the winter season.

Ryanair has written to over 300 employees warning them that their services may not be required from October 28.

The protective notice to staff has been issued after the board took the decision to cut its Dublin-based fleet by 20pc for the winter.

Over 100 pilots and 200 cabin crew employees will be affected.

The low-fares airline said that the decision had been driven by the rapid growth of its Polish charter airline, allied to a down turn in forward bookings and airfares in Ireland, which it said was “partly as a result of recent rolling strikes by Irish pilots.”

The airline said that the strikes had resulted in consumer confidence in the reliability of its Irish flight schedules being disturbed.

Ryanair expects few route closures from Dublin during the winter, although some routes may suffer frequency reductions.

“We regret these base aircraft reductions at Dublin for winter 2018, but the board has decided to allocate more aircraft to those markets where we are enjoying strong growth, and this will result in some aircraft reductions and job cuts in country markets where business has weakened, or forward bookings are being damaged by rolling strikes by Irish pilots,” Peter Bellew, COO of Ryanair, said.

Transport Minister Shane Ross has said he will not intervene in the dispute between pilots and Ryanair.

He said that when it comes to disputes such as this the Government role “normally is keep out”.

“I’m not going to get involved. My worry, of course for everybody involved, is that they should get back to work because passengers are being affected adversely. We want to see that end as soon as possible,” he said.

Earlier this week the airline reported a fall in profits after tax of 20pc year-on-year to €319m in the three months to 30 June.

Higher fuel and staff costs off-set the airline’s increase in revenue, which grew 9pc to €2bn, Ryanair said in a trading update on Monday.

The earlier timing of Easter also led to a 4pc decline in average fares, the airline said.

Ryanair experienced passenger growth of 7pc year-on-year during the period, with the group carrying 37.6 million passengers in the three months.

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