Ryanair warns pilots and cabin crew they could lose their jobs as strikes continue

Ryanair warns pilots and cabin crew they could lose their jobs as strikes continue

RYANAIR has warned jobs could be lost as flight crews across Europe strike over working conditions.

More than 300 of the Irish budget airline's 2,400 daily flights were cancelled on Wednesday and Thursday due to industrial action by pilots and cabin crew in Spain, Portugal, Italy and Belgium.

Irish pilots are expected to strike for a third time tomorrow - while cabin crews in Belgium, Portugal and Spain will take further industrial action on Wednesday and Thursday.

Complaints include rows over the allocation of base transfers, seniority, promotions and annual leave.

Ryanair was forced to recognise unions for the first time in its 32-year history last December, but has since struggled to agree terms with several of them.

The low-cost carrier has now warned of potential fleet reduction and job losses over the "unnecessary" strikes.

In a statement, Ryanair said: "While we continue to actively engage with pilot and cabin crew unions across Europe, we expect further strikes over the peak summer period as we are not prepared to concede to unreasonable demands that will compromise either our low fares or our highly efficient model.

"If these unnecessary strikes continue to damage customer confidence and forward prices/yields in certain country markets then we will have to review our winter schedule, which may lead to fleet reductions at disrupted bases and job losses.

"We cannot allow our customers' flights to be unnecessarily disrupted by a tiny minority of pilots."

The warning comes as Ryanair's profits slumped by a fifth in recent months amid rising oil prices and employment costs - including a 20% pay increase for pilots.

The airline said profits fell 20% to €319m (£284.8m) between March 30 and June 30 - compared to a profit of €397m (£354) in the same period last year.