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Published on Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Ryanair pilots' strike latest, Ireland walk-out blocked by High Court

Passengers are waiting to hear today if a court will block Ryanair pilots from walking out on strike tomorrow and on Friday.

Ryanair has appealed to the High Court for an injunction preventing the planned industrial action and the court is due to give its verdict this morning.

Walkouts will hit flights at the start of the busy Bank Holiday weekend.

The Irish High Court this morning decided to block a strike by Ryanair pilots based in Ireland, which was also due to start tomorrow.

The Irish pilots' union had threatened further strikes next month, but today the High Court granted Ryanair and injunction to prevent the industrial action.

In the UK, members of the British Airline Pilots Association are also threatening to strike on September 3-5, just as many families will be returning from their summer holidays.

In the event of industrial action, affected passengers will be notified by email or text and be offered alternative flights or a refund, or be re-routed, the airline has said.

The airline insists only half its pilots are members of the union and so even if the strikes go ahead, it will still operate some flights.

However, it was criticised yesterday by BALPA for continuing to sell tickets on tomorrow's and Friday's flights with the threat of a pilot walkout hanging over passengers' heads.

The airline's decision not to cancel flights in case the strikes go ahead, which was what British Airways did earlier this summer when its pilots threatend a walkout, has caused many anxious passengers to take to Twitter to plead for information about their flights.

In response to the Irish High Court decision, Ryanair said: "All Ryanair flights scheduled to depart on Thursday 22 and Friday 23 from Dublin, Cork and Shannon Airports will now operate as normal and passengers should arrive at their departure airport two hours prior to their scheduled departure time."

It also called on the Irish pilots' union FORSA to return to negotiations, adding: "FORSA and this small group of Irish pilots should now explain why - when FORSA have agreed pay increases for Aer Lingus pilots of 9% over 3 years (an avg. of 3% p.a.), they are seeking 101% increases for Ryanair Captains who already earn over €172,000 p.a.

"Small groups of workers, earning six figure salaries should not be threatening to disrupt the holiday travel plans of Ryanair customers and their families (very few of whom earn over €172,000 p.a.)"

FORSA said: "On foot of today's ruling, the union has informed its members, who are directly-employed Ryanair pilots based in the Republic of Ireland, that the strikes planned for tomorrow and Friday will not now take place.

"Once the union has the ruling in writing, we will consider it in detail and consult with our legal team. Only then will F-³rsa be in a position to consider its next steps.

"The union believes that it would be inappropriate to comment further until Justice McDonald has made a full interlocutory ruling."

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