Ryanair pilots plan strike before busy holiday travel period

Shannon Airport expected to be unaffected by Ryanair pilots strike

On this basis, this would rule out the budget carrier's pilots based locally from the action.

Offering cheap no-frills flights, Ryanair has grown into Europe's largest airline since it was first established in 1985, overtaking even German market leader Lufthansa for total passengers transported in 2016.

A union called Tuesday on German-based pilots at budget airline Ryanair to strike in a dispute over pay and conditions, while the carrier's Irish staff voted for industrial action on December 20.

And Portuguese-based pilots have also balloted for industrial action, but so far have not served notification of any industrial action.

Ryanair closed at 16.93 euros in Dublin, after dropping as much as 4.1 percent earlier.

It is the second strike announcement for the Italians.

But in a strongly worded statement, Ryanair insisted it would "face down" the actions, and said its pilots in its Shannon base have already agreed pay deals worth 20%.

Ryanair has threatened to withdraw recent pay rises and other benefits from pilots who refuse to negotiate through the negotiating structures preferred by management.

The company says pilots in Dublin can earn between €150,000 to €190,000 a year for working a five days on/four-off roster, and have been offered a 20 per cent pay increase.

Vereinigung Cockpit said it won't strike during from the afternoon of December 23 through December 26, the height of the Christmas holiday travel period.

But striking days beforehand will mean planes and crew in the wrong places, and the run-on effect could be disastrous for the holiday getaway.

The move comes after disruption in the summer caused by a shortage of pilots, many of whom had moved to rival firms.

Vereinigung Cockpit, which represents flight-deck crews in Germany, said Tuesday that Ryanair pilots based in the country plan stoppages, though declined to specify a date.

The Irish Air Line Pilots' Association (IALPA) union disagreed, saying that the 117 pilots expected to take part in the strike make up nearly 90 percent of the pilots directly employed by Ryanair in Ireland.

Ryanair said they will deal with any disruptions "if, or when they arise", and have apologised to customers in advance of any delays.

"If any such action takes place, Ryanair will deal with it head on, but we will not deal with or recognise the Lufthansa pilots union VC, regardless of what action - if any - takes place".

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