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German pilots to join Swedes in Ryanair strike

Pilots in Germany, Sweden, Belgium, Ireland and possibly also the Netherlands will strike against Ryanair on Friday.

Ryanair pilots in Germany have just revealed at a press conference in Berlin that they will join their colleagues in Sweden, Belgium and Ireland to stage a 24-hour strike on Friday.

The pilots union Vereinigung Cockpit confirmed the walkout, which is likely to ground hundreds of flights. The strike starts at midnight on Thursday night, affecting all Ryanair flights from Germany, The Independent reports.

VC says it is requesting all permanent pilots employed at Ryanair’s bases in Germany to participate, about 400 of them in total.

“We demand improvements in pay and working conditions,” said Martin Locher, president of VC. “Improvements are inconceivable without an increase in personnel cockpit costs. During negotiations, Ryanair categorically ruled out any such increases. At the same time, Ryanair has not shown any interest to find solutions.”

It added, “It is only Ryanair which is responsible for the escalation which has now taken place.”

VC says its decision came after a midnight deadline passed on Tuesday without an improved offer for pay and conditions by Ryanair.

Combined action
It is not yet clear exactly how many flights will be cancelled in Germany, but the combined Ryanair strikes in Sweden, Ireland and Belgium are estimated to ground 146 flights, wrecking the travel plans of around 25,000 passengers.

Dutch pilots may also join them; a statement on this is expected sometime today. Meanwhile, Ryanair has already axed 22 flights to and from Sweden on Friday.

The dispute over working conditions has already seen pilots and cabin crew in Ireland stage a number of strikes this summer.

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