The news comes just hours after British Airways pilots also called off their strike which was due to take place tomorrow – September 27.
When were Ryanair pilots meant to go on strike?
The series of strikes were meant to happen on September 18 and 19 for 48 hours, and then on September 21, 23, 25, 27 and 29 for periods of 24 hours – but they have been cancelled.
But the airline claims it has cobbled together enough pilots to operate as normal.
However, The British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA), who represent Ryanair pilots, have now confirmed they would not be striking later this month.
They have called it off so that “meaningful negotiations” could take place between the union and the airline.
Why were pilots attempting to strike?
The pilots announced their intention to strike earlier this month due to a number of issues.
A statement from the union explained: “Our claim includes many issues including pensions; loss-of-licence insurance; maternity benefits; allowances; and a fair, transparent, and consistent pay structure.
“We have made no progress with Ryanair management on any of those areas at all, seemingly because Ryanair management cannot understand how to go about working with us constructively, or how to negotiate.”
They added that they had made “no progress” with Ryanair, hence the reason to strike citing they had “no choice” but to strike.
Ryanair pilots previously walked out on September 18 and 19.
UK-based pilots working for Ryanair are exasperated about a number of issues, with BALPA saying the strike was the result of “decades” of Ryanair refusing to engage with union.
Will I get my money back if my flight is cancelled or delayed?
If your flight is cancelled, you have the legal right to either a full refund within seven days or a replacement flight to your destination.
But the airline might not pay out if it’s out of their control, for example, due to bad weather or strikes.
If your flight is delayed by three hours or more and you were flying to or from a European airport, or with an EU-based airline such as Ryanair or British Airways then you can claim compensation up to £229 (€250) for short-haul flights and £367 €400 for mid-haul flights and £530 (€600) for long-haul flights.
What has Ryanair said about the strikes?
On September 18, Ryanair tweeted a statement saying: “We remain open to meeting with BALPA and we again call on them to return to talks as soon as possible as these failed strikes serve no purpose.”
On August 22, 2019, Ryanair said: “We again call on the Balpa union and this small minority of UK pilots to return to Mediation as they are required to under out Recognition Agreement.
“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 pa).”
The strikes come after Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary said 900 jobs were at risk at the airline because there was an “excess” number of pilots and cabin crew.
The airline said its UK pilots agreed a 20 per cent salary increase, with Senior Captains earning up to £180,000, which it said is more than competitors.
Ryanair said in a statement that it was “disappointed” with the strikes.
They claimed the industrial action “does not have the support of the majority of Ryanair’s UK pilots”.
Ryanair added in a letter to Balpa: “At this difficult time for UK pilots facing base cuts and closures, Balpa should be working with Ryanair to save UK pilot jobs, not endanger them through ill-timed and ill-judged disruption of our customers’ travel plans, just 10 weeks before the threat of a no-deal Brexit.”
Can you claim compensation as pilots begin 48-hour strike?
Passengers are not automatically entitled to compensation if their flight was cancelled due to strike action.
They’re often considered to be “extraordinary circumstances”, which means the airline doesn’t have to payout as the cause of the cancellation is beyond their control.
But if the strike is being carried out by its own employees, like the Ryanair strikes, it must compensate customers.
Under EU law, you’re only eligible for the payout if your airline fails to give you two week’s notice of the cancellation.
If the airline cancelled your flight more than two week’s before take off then you will automatically get a refund but will not be compensated.
Had the flight been cancelled by traffic control or bagging handling workers, Ryanair would not have to pay out.
You can only get a refund if you do not take the airline up on the offer of an alternative flight.
But you should know that once you accept the refund, the airline will no longer have a duty of care for you.
You then won’t be able to claim money back including cash for over night stays that you have had to pay for as a result of the cancellation.