Ryanair pilots strike across five countries today as travel chaos hits thousands of passengers around Europe
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Ryanair pilots strike across five countries today as travel chaos hits thousands of passengers around Europe

RYANAIR passengers across Europe are facing widespread disruption today as pilots strike in five countries, including Ireland.

Dublin-based pilots are staging their fifth walk out in recent weeks as their row with management deepens.

Elsewhere, pilots in Germany, Sweden, The Netherlands and Belgium have also chosen to take industrial action.

Ryanair has been forced to cancel almost 400 flights in total - affecting around 25,000 passengers.

In a statement, the airline said: "Despite the regrettable and unjustified strike action taking place in five of our 37 markets on Friday, over 2,000 Ryanair flights (85% of our schedule) will operate as normal tomorrow carrying almost 400,000 customers across Europe.

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"Ryanair took every step to minimise the disruption and we notified our customers as early as possible advising them of their free move, refund or reroute options.

"The majority of customers affected have already been re-accommodated on another Ryanair flight.

"We want to again apologise to customers affected by this unnecessary disruption and we ask the striking unions to continue negotiations instead of calling anymore unjustified strikes."

Bernard Harbor from the Irish pilots' union Fórsa said both sides were still some way off reaching a deal.

"We believe that this is a problem that can be resolved through negotiations," he said.

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"But I have to say that the experience of pilots so far is that the company has not been prepared to really grapple with the issues - and that's why they feel that they've been forced into yet another day of strike action today."