Wednesday 7 August 2019 6:43 pm

Travellers brace for chaos as Ryanair pilots vote to strike

Airline woes are set to be compounded later this month as Ryanair pilots become the latest to go out on strike over pensions and a host of other issues.

Pilots’ union Balpa said this evening it was taking its pilots out on strike on 22 August and 2-3 September.

Read more: Heathrow and Unite locked in last-ditch talks to halt tomorrow’s strike

The claim comes over pensions, the loss of license insurance, maternity benefits, allowances, and a “fair, transparent, and consistent pay structure,” the union said.

It blasted Ryanair for refusing to deal with unions, saying its management did not understand how negotiate. It has also created a workplace without several agreements that are standard elsewhere, Balpa said.

“We have had no formal offer from Ryanair and it is imperative that we resolve this dispute urgently to avoid strike action. No pilot wants to spoil the public’s travel plans but at the moment it seems we have no choice,” general secretary Brian Strutton said.

Four fifths of ballots were in favour of a strike, Balpa said, with turnout hitting 72 per cent.

Ryanair hit back saying that the union represents less than half of its UK pilots, and accused the union of striking while it faces problems with Boeing’s 737 Max plane.

Read more: British Airways loses court bid to stop pilot strikes over summer

“BALPA have no mandate to disrupt our customers holidays and flights, particularly at a time when UK pilots are facing job losses due to the Boeing Max delivery delays, and the threat of a no deal Brexit on 31 October,” the airline said. Ryanair said it had written to Balpa to ask the union to return to talks.

The action is separate to the decision by British Airways pilots to walk out over pay this summer. Last week the airline lost a court battle to block the strike. Balpa has not yet set a date for the action.