Ryanair travel warning as some flights to Belgium cancelled as pilots strike

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Ryanair has described the walkout as an “unnecessary strike”

Ryanair has issued a warning to customers that it has been forced to cancel some flights to and from Belgium this weekend.

The cancellations come due to a strike by “a small number” of the airline’s Belgium-based pilots.

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The airline said that more than 60% of its scheduled flights to and from the popular European destination will operate as planned on Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 July. But unfortunately, some flights travelling to and from the city of Charleroi, in the province of Hainaut, will not go ahead.

Ryanair has been forced to cancel some flights to and from Belgium this weekend (Photo: Adobe)Ryanair has been forced to cancel some flights to and from Belgium this weekend (Photo: Adobe)
Ryanair has been forced to cancel some flights to and from Belgium this weekend (Photo: Adobe) | gordzam - stock.adobe.com

Ryanair said that all customers affected by the cancellations should have been contacted and advised of their options.

It said passengers will be able to bring forward their flights to Friday 28 July or delay travel until Monday 31 July or Tuesday 1 August next week. Alternatively, customers will receive a full refund if they choose to cancel their flight booking.

Ryanair pilots based in Belgium are due to walkout on 29 and 30 July, with unions representing the striking workers demanding the reversal of pay cuts that were implemented during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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The pilots’ union claims that Ryanair wants to maintain a 20% pay cut imposed during the pandemic, despite the company reporting profits this year.

The budget airline saw its quarterly profits soar nearly four-fold thanks to demand over Easter and the coronation weekend, and posted profits after tax of 663 million (£573.6 million) for its first quarter - up from 170 million euros (£147.1 million) a year ago.

The Belgian trade unions CNE and ACV Puls, and the pilots’ union Beca, claim that Ryaniar does not intend to restore the pay rates for the Belgium-based pilots before the collective agreement on working hours and rest expires in October next year.

The strike is due to affect flights operating out of Brussels South Charleroi Airport, although not all Ryanair flights departing this airport have a Belgium-based pilot. The industrial action will not affect Ryanair flights operating out of Brussels Airport, as this site is served by pilots based outside of Belgium.

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The latest walkout follows previous strike action by pilots earlier this month on 15 and 16 July, and further industrial action could come if the dispute fails to be resolved.

Which flights are affected?

Brussels South Charleroi Airport has confirmed in an update to customers that the following Ryanair flights will be cancelled as a result of the strike action this weekend:

Departures

29-07-23    06:30    GERONA    FR6902

29-07-23    07:05    NIMES/ARLES    FR4842

29-07-23    07:35    BOLOGNE MARCONI    FR3939

29-07-23    07:35    CAGLIARI/ELMAS    FR4417

29-07-23    07:45    NAPLES    FR1302

29-07-23    07:50    LISBONNE    FR1300

29-07-23    10:15    RABAT/SALE    FR6932

29-07-23    11:10    CARCASSONNE    FR8023

29-07-23    15:50    ALICANTE    FR3534

29-07-23    15:55    LISBONNE    FR3610

29-07-23    16:50    SEVILLE    FR6444

29-07-23    16:50    BUCAREST - OTOPENI    FR2101

29-07-23    17:50    POZNAN-LAWICA    FR4999

29-07-23    19:00    TRIESTE-RONCHI    FR4496 

From

29-07-23    10:45    GERONA    FR6901

29-07-23    10:45    NIMES/ARLES    FR4843

29-07-23    11:30    BOLOGNE MARCONI    FR3938

29-07-23    12:35    CAGLIARI/ELMAS    FR4416

29-07-23    12:50    NAPLES    FR1303

29-07-23    13:45    LISBONNE    FR1301

29-07-23    15:00    CARCASSONNE    FR8024

29-07-23    17:00    RABAT/SALE    FR6933

29-07-23    21:25    ALICANTE    FR3533

29-07-23    21:40    POZNAN-LAWICA    FR5000

29-07-23    21:50    LISBONNE    FR3609

29-07-23    22:45    TRIESTE-RONCHI    FR4497

29-07-23    22:45    SEVILLE    FR6445

29-07-23    22:55    BUCAREST - OTOPENI    FR2102

Passengers are advised to regularly check the Ryanair website, and the airport website, to find out if their flight is affected by the strike. Affected customers should be notified by email or SMS within 48 hours prior to departure if their flight is maintained or cancelled.

Ryanair said in a statement: “Ryanair regrets any inconvenience caused to a small number of our Belgian passengers on Sat/Sun by this unnecessary pilot strike. Ryanair’s Belgian pilots and their union have been offered a similar pay increase to that recently agreed with Ryanair pilot unions in most other EU countries.

“These unnecessary strikes will only cost our Belgian pilots lost pay when there is already a generous pay increase available to them and their union.”

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