This involves staff in Germany, Sweden, Ireland, Belgium and the Netherlands. Cabin crews in Belgium, Portugal and Spain went also on strike. About 50,000 passengers are understood to have been told of cancellations on 400 flights. Previously there have been protests over the negotiating of collective labour agreements.The action is the largest in a series of strikes. A Dutch court on Thursday evening rejected a case from Ryanair seeking to block pilots in the Netherlands from joining the strike, affecting about 22 flights.
The unions want the contracts of Ryanair employees to be governed by the laws of the nation where they are based, not by Irish legislation. While it has recognized unions, the airline has yet to sign any labor contracts. The company says 85% of its scheduled flights will operate as normal on Saturday and the majority of customers affected have been given places on other Ryanair flights. Ryanair operates more than 2,000 flights a day, serving 223 airports across 37 countries in Europe and North Africa, and insists it will not change the low-cost model that transformed the industry and has made it Europe’s most profitable airline. It now faces the same pressures as traditional airlines. Shares in Ryanair dipped 1% on Friday. The stock is down roughly 30% from a record high set last year.