19/07/2018 12:41 BST | Updated 19/07/2018 12:53 BST

Ryanair Cancels 600 Flights Next Week Due To Ongoing Strikes

Flights to and from Belgium, Portugal, and Spain will be cancelled.

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Around 50,000 holidaymakers could be affected as Ryanair cancels another 600 flights next week in the wake of recent strike action.

Flights to and from Belgium, Portugal, and Spain will be cancelled, with the airline grounding 300 flights each day on Wednesday 25 July and Thursday 26 July. 

Ryanair said it “deeply regrets” pulling the flights, and said customers have been offered alternative flights over the seven days prior to Wednesday and Thursday.

They are also being offered full refunds if they choose not to take different routes.

The cancellations amount to 12% of its daily European flights, and some customers have complained on social media, with many saying they have struggled to get hold of the airline’s customer service or have been unable to rebook their flight.

Others have been supportive of the strikes despite the cancellations, with one asking when the airline is going to “sort [itself] out” with the hashtag #RyanairMUSTchange.

Kenny Jacobs, Ryanair’s chief marketing officer, said the airline “sincerely apologised” for disruptions it had done its utmost to avoid.

“Given that cabin crew enjoy great pay of up to €40,000 a year in countries with high youth employment, industry-leading rosters that allow for 14 days off each month, great sales commissions, uniform allowances and sick pay, these strikes are entirely unjustified and will achieve nothing other than to disrupt family holidays and benefit competitor airlines in Belgium, Portugal, and Spain,” he said. 

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The planned strikes over working conditions dealt another blow to Ryanair, which has been attempting to quell a staff revolt that began last year.

On 4 July, cabin crew from across Europe joined pilots in the fight, publishing a list of 34 demands including “a fair living wage”, improved sick pay and employment contracts in their own language based on local, rather than Irish, law.

The cancellations came as talks in Dublin between the airline and its Irish pilots, who are directly employed, broke down again on Wednesday.

Ryanair was subject to widespread criticism after it announced that it would be cancelling between 40 and 50 flights per day during September and October 2017.

The cancellations, which amounted to about 2% of total daily flights, left out of pocket due to a lack of alternative flights and accommodation bookings they could not use.

At the time, Ryanair said the cancellations were brought about because of an error with pilot holiday rosters and insisted the reduction in its schedule would “eliminate all risk of further flight cancellations”.