The Dublin based low-cost airline Ryanair has won a high-court injunction that would stop its Irish pilots from striking this coming Thursday and Friday. The decision, which was handed down by the Irish high-court, would halt the planned 48-hour strike by around 180 pilots.
A week ago, 94% of the members of the Irish Airline Pilots’ Association (IALPA) voted in favor of striking against Ryanair on August 22 and 23. The planned strike was a response to an ongoing dispute over pay and working conditions that have been going on for years. The union accuses the airline of delaying talks regarding pay demands that were submitted last March. The IALPA served Ryanair the notice of the strike last August 14.
As a response, Ryanair took to court and argued that the union representing the 180 pilots had announced their strike before mediation between the parties drew to a close. The Irish high-court favored Ryanair’s legal argument; hence, the decision to put a stop to the strike.
On their official twitter account, Ryanair welcomed the high court’s decision. According to the airline, flights scheduled to depart from Irish airports on August 23 and 24 will push through. The airline has also called the FORSA union to return to the discussion table to resolve disputes without affecting the travel plans of its Irish customers.
The two-day strike of Ryanair’s pilots in Ireland is not the only concern that the airline is facing at the moment. Its UK based pilots who are under British Airline Pilots Association (Balpa) have also planned a series of strikes on August 23 to 24 and on September 2 to 4.
Ryanair and Balpa are waiting for the decision by a London court regarding the strikes. While waiting for the court’s decision, Balpa has said that it plans to carry out the scheduled walkouts.
“Their attempt to block lawful strike action is just another demonstration of the bullying tactics the airline appears to favor. It means that all the time that could have been used to try to find a resolution will have been spent preparing for court action,” said Balpa President Brian Strutton.
Ryanair’s cabin crew in Spain are also planning a 10-day strike in September. This comes after the between the airline, and the unions failed to produce any agreements.
The scheduled strikes against Ryanair this summer is not the first time that this has happened. In August and September of last year, passengers of this low-cost airline had their flights canceled due to the airlines’ cabin crew strikes. Both walkouts affected hundreds of flights and thousands of passengers across Europe.
If the strikes by its cabin crew push through this week and on the first week of September in the UK, Ryanair would be dealing with a lot of damages. In a day, the airline is serving about 350,000 passengers. Every 45 seconds, there’s a Ryanair flight taking off.
While there will be significant disruption, Ryanair flights that are serving the UK won’t be affected as much. This is because the airline has bases in countries that won’t be participating in strikes like France and Italy.
During the strikes, Ryanair will see extensive damage to its finances. Apart from losing revenue, they would have to compensate for the affected passengers. This figure could go into the millions. According to regulations set by the European Union, a passenger can be compensated if they were informed less than 14 days before their scheduled date of departure.
In last year’s strikes, the airline was told by the court to compensate affected passengers by paying them around €250 to €400 each. If the upcoming UK pushes through, those who will be affected could be receiving a similar amount.
Passengers who will be flying on the day of the planned strikes are advised not to cancel their flights. A refund will only be offered if there has been a cancellation from the airline. If the fight is canceled, Ryanair will have to have to offer a flight alternative to the passengers.
Those who will be affected by the strikes are advised to check the EU’s air passenger rights for more information. Passengers have the right to reimbursement, re-routing or return, assistance, and compensation.