Holiday hell for Irish tourists this summer as expert predicts Ryanair strike to hit Spain flights

Strikes by fed up Ryanair crews could signal holiday hell for Irish families this summer, it is warned.

Unions for cabin crews in Spain are threatening widescale industrial action amid tense pay talks with the Irish airline and they claim that they could be supported by colleagues in Portugal, France, Italy and Belgium.

Six key dates have been announced for strikes through to the end of July, reports Irish Mirror.

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Insiders claim further travel disruption could erupt if disgruntled aviation employees in Ireland also ballot for action due to the European developments.

But in a statement to the Irish Mirror the strike threat was dismissed by Ryanair as a “distraction” and the airline claimed that workers will not support the strike calls.

The Spanish strike threat has been announced with weeks to go until the first waves of Irish families are to jet off at the start of the school summer holidays.

Irish travel expert Eoghan Corry warned that the unions’ strike threats could impact on airlines like Ryanair. He said: “The power that a union has in the aviation sector in the modern age is on forward bookings, creating uncertainty and reducing forward bookings at airlines. like Ryanair. ”

Unions for some of Ryanair’s Spanish cabin staff have revealed strike dates for one of the busiest times of the year.

These are June 24, 25, 26 and 30, plus July 1 and 2 and could affect many of Ryanair’s 1,400 crew in Spain. Lidia Arasanz, who is general secretary at the Union Sindical Obrera, said: “We have to resume mobilisation so that the reality of our situation is known and Ryanair is forced to abide by basic labor laws. ”

However, Ryanair bosses have expressed confidence that a pay deal will prevent European-wide disruptions this summer.

An airline spokesperson was asked by the Irish Mirror if the pay dispute could result in disruption for its Irish passengers.

She described the strike threat as a “distraction” and said: “Ryanair has negotiated collective agreements covering 90% of our people across Europe. In recent months we have been negotiating improvements to those agreements as we work through the Covid recovery phase.

“Those negotiations are going well and we do not expect widespread disruption this summer.”

She added: “Recent announcements by much smaller USO and SITCPLA unions are a distraction from their own failures to deliver agreements after three years of negotiations and we believe that their strike calls will not be supported by our Spanish crews.”

Staff of Ryanair – now the largest airline in Europe in terms of passenger numbers – have walked out in
other countries including Belgium and Italy.

With most Covid-related travel restrictions lifted in many countries in recent months, demand for summer travel has bounced back.

The surge in demand has left airlines and airport operators struggling to hire staff fast enough to handle the flow of passengers and offer them attractive working conditions.

Read more: Latest Spain, Turkey, Greece and Cyprus travel rules for holidaymakers

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