Ryanair slams its own Irish pilots - and hints they're overpaid - as third strike leaves 2,500 passengers grounded
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Ryanair slams its own Irish pilots - and hints they're overpaid - as third strike leaves 2,500 passengers grounded

RYANAIR has hit out at the Irish Airline Pilots’ Association (IALPA) after the union's members walked out today for a third time this month.

The budget airline was forced to cancel 16 flights scheduled for Tuesday - affecting 2,500 Irish customers - after pilots in Dublin took yet more industrial action over seniority, promotion and annual leave.

In a statement this morning, Ryanair apologised to affected customers and slated IALPA-affiliated pilots for striking over an issue "which doesn't even affect them".

The airline said: "We apologise to the 2,500 Irish customers whose flights today (Tues) were cancelled last Thursday (and who were re-accommodated/refunded over the weekend) due to a 3rd unnecessary strike by a small minority (25%) of our Irish pilots (who earn €150,000 - €200,000 p.a.) over 'seniority and base transfer' proposals which they can't explain and which doesn't even affect them.

"Our pilots should resolve these issues through our working group and not disrupt any more customer holidays.

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"Across Europe today, Ryanair will operate over 2,400 flights, taking over 450,000 customers to their holiday destinations."

Yet more misery

IALPA members first went on strike this month on July 12 in a row over working practises.

A second strike followed on July 20 affecting 4,000 customers.

Today's third strike comes as Ryanair cabin crew in Belgium, Italy, Spain and Portugal prepare to walkout on Wednesday and Thursday over contracts.

Cabin crew unions across Europe published a list of 34 demands earlier this month, including "a fair living wage", improved sick pay and employment contracts in their own language based on local rather than Irish law.

The airline has cancelled up to 300 of its 2,400 flights on both Wednesday and Thursday to minimise disruption to customers.

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The cancellations will affect almost 50,000 passengers who booked to fly to or from Belgium, Italy, Spain or Portugal during the peak of the summer holiday season.