396 flights have been cancelled on the airline in total, as pilots walk out over pay and working conditions.

Staff at the budget airline are continuing to battle for better pay and conditions.

Their dispute also centres round seniority, promotion and annual leave.

German pilots announced yesterday that they are going on strike too, adding another 250 flights to the total grounded around Europe.

Ryanair agreed to recognise unions for the first time in its 30 year history last year.

The airline’s chief marketing officer, Kenny Jacobs, has disputed the need to strike, saying: "Our pilots in Germany enjoy excellent working conditions. They are paid up to €190,000 (£170,000) a year and, as well as additional benefits, they received a 20 per cent pay increase at the start of this year.

“Ryanair pilots earn at least 30 per cent more than Eurowings' and 20 per cent more than Norwegian's.

"We asked [German unions] to provide us with at least seven days' notice of any planned strike action so that we could notify our customers of cancelled flights in advance and offer them alternative flights or refunds.

WIN A FREE HOLIDAY Fancy a free holiday to Disneyland or Dubai? Vote in our Sun Travel Awards and enter our prize draw for six great holidays

“But they have refused to do this and instead call an unnecessary strike in Germany in just two days' time.

“Ryanair is now forced to cancel 250 flights of over 2,400 flights scheduled to operate on Friday. We apologise to our customers for this unnecessary strike and regrettable disruption.”

Ryanair says that all passengers who have had flights cancelled should have been notified by text message or email.

They will receive the offer of a new flight, or a refund.

While the airline is saying that it doesn’t need to pay compensation to passengers who have had their flights cancelled, the official body that oversees and regulates airline travel in the UK says it does.

Which? contacted the Civil Aviation Authority, who said that the airline needs to pay out to customers affected.

A spokesperson from Which? told Sun Online Travel: “The airline is legally obliged to pay compensation to passengers whose flights are cancelled with less than two weeks’ notice, unless it can prove that the cancellations were caused by what’s known as ‘extraordinary circumstances’.

“In most cases, the figure will be €250 (£220) per person and it could be more for some longer flights. The recent strikes by French Air Traffic Controllers are considered to be ‘extraordinary’, as they are outside the airline’s control."

They continued: “However, the CAA has confirmed that strikes by Ryanair’s own employees are its responsibility and should be eligible for compensation."

They added: “The CAA said: ‘When a flight cancellation is caused by strike action by the airline’s employees, the airline is required to pay compensation to passengers in respect of the cancellation of the flight, if it has not warned passengers of the cancellation at least two weeks prior to the scheduled time of departure.’”

A Ryanair spokesperson said of the Irish strikes: “As FORSA have called a fifth strike by a small minority (25 per cent) of our Irish pilots, we regrettably have cancelled just 20 (7 per cent) of our 300 planned flights to/from Ireland on Friday (August 10)."

They continued: “All 3,500 affected customers were notified by email/SMS earlier last week (August 3) and will be readily re-accommodated (or refunded) on other Ryanair flights between Irish and UK routes.

“We have received strike notice from pilot unions in Belgium and Sweden for Friday (August 10) and have regrettably cancelled 104 (to/from Belgium) and 22 (to/from Sweden) out of over 2400 scheduled flights across Europe next Friday (August 10)."

Sun Online Travel previously revealed that Ryanair passengers were forced to miss their flights yesterday due to huge queues at check in – as long as the entire airport terminal.

Source: Read Full Article