Ryanair pilots in the UK will strike over the Bank Holiday weekend, after the High Court stopped the airline from halting the planned industrial action.
The action will take place for 24 hours from midnight Thursday until midnight Friday.
A second strike is planned from September 2 to September 4.
The airline’s attempt to block similar strike action by 180 Ireland-based pilots over the weekend was however granted by the Court.
The disruption will affect one of the busiest travel weekends of the year and Ryanair have said they cannot rule out delays or changes to flights, but expect to operate a full schedule.
The airline flies from 21 airports in the UK, meaning the strike could potentially cause chaos for millions passengers.
The British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA), who represent the UK pilots, said the airline was “foolish” to bring the action to the High Court and they have offered them a framework to allow for “constructive negotiations”.
Update – Thursday 22nd & Friday 23rd Ryanair UK flights to operate as scheduled: pic.twitter.com/VNXqNSbA5i
— Ryanair (@Ryanair) August 21, 2019
The dispute is to address issues such as: pensions, loss of licence insurance, maternity benefits, allowances, and to “harmonise pay across the UK in a fair, transparent, and consistent structure”, BALPA added.
Brian Strutton, BALPA General Secretary, said: “Ryanair was foolish to bring this into the High Court rather than the negotiating room. We offered to meet Ryanair management at ACAS to negotiate a resolution, but instead they attempted a legal bludgeon. That’s backfired.
“However, we are clear that we want to settle the dispute and bring about a change in Ryanair for the better.”
He added they hope Ryanair will take up their offer of mediation so the strike can be called off.
But Ryanair have called the pay demands “unreasonable”, after Captains asked for their pay to be doubled from £170,000 to £375,700.
The airline said less than 30 percent of their UK-based pilots are participating in the strike and, due to other pilots volunteering, all passengers travelling on Thursday and Friday can expect to take their flight as normal.
In a statement Ryanair said: “British pilots earning six figure annual salaries should not be threatening the holiday flights of thousands of British passengers and their families (very few of whom earn over £170,000 p.a.).”