September 4, 2019 / 4:30 PM / 13 days ago

Ryanair's UK unionized pilots call seven more strike days

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Ryanair (RYA.I) members of the British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) on Wednesday announced a further seven days of strikes as their latest walkout comes to an end, having caused little disruption for the low-cost airline.

FILE PHOTO: A Ryanair aircraft stands on the tarmac at Frankfurt-Hahn Airport, Germany, September 12, 2018. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski/File Photo

Some of the next round of strikes will coincide with multi-day strikes by Ryanair pilots and cabin crew in Spain.

BALPA members said they will walk out again on Sept. 18, 19, 21, 23, 25, 27 and 29. Ryanair’s Spanish pilots will also be on strike on Sept 19, 27 and 29, while the ninth of 10 strike days called by their cabin crew colleagues is due on Sept. 27.

While widespread strikes over pay and conditions a year ago forced Ryanair to cancel hundreds of flights, the first series of strikes since then in Britain, Spain and Portugal has caused minimal disruption in recent weeks.

Ryanair flights to and from Britain ran as scheduled over the last three days during BALPA’s latest strike, having also caused no cancellations during the union’s first walkout last month.

So far only 14 Spanish flights have been affected by the industrial action, representing less than one percent of the Irish airline’s daily schedule to and from Spain.

In a statement Ryanair described the latest BALPA strikes as “pointless” given their initial industrial action had caused zero cancellations.

Ryanair has said only around half of the pilots operating from UK airports are members BALPA.

BALPA said the airline was using contractors, who are not entitled to join unions, and crews from other jurisdictions to ensure flights operated.

“We are clear that we want to settle the dispute and bring about a change in Ryanair for the better. Ryanair should stop dragging its feet,” BALPA General Secretary Brian Strutton said in a statement.

Reporting by Padraic Halpin; editing by David Evans and Jane Merriman

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