Ryanair is cancelling hundreds of flights to and from Germany on Friday because of a strike by pilots.
The airline said it had notified passengers affected by the cancellation of 250 flights, offering them a refund or another route.
Ryanair pilots in Sweden, Belgium and Ireland had already voted to stage a 24-hour strike on Friday, leading to the cancellation of 22 flights to/from Sweden, 104 to/from Belgium, and 20 to/from Ireland.
And late Wednesday afternoon it was reported Dutch pilots were also joining the strike although details of any disruption it will cause has yet to be announced.
All affected customers have already been contacted.
Pilots’ union Vereinigung Cockpit (VC) announced that Ryanair pilots in Germany will also be striking on Friday over pay and conditions.
The airline said the strike in Germany was “unjustified”.
Ryanair’s Kenny Jacobs said: “We regret the decision of the VC to go ahead with this unnecessary strike action given that we sent through a revised proposal on a Collective Labour Agreement (CLA) and stated our intention to work towards achieving a CLA together. We also invited VC to meet us on Tuesday but they did not respond to this invitation.
“Our pilots in Germany enjoy excellent working conditions. They are paid up to €190,000 a year and, as well as additional benefits, they received a 20% pay increase at the start of this year. Ryanair pilots earn at least 30% more than Eurowings and 20% more than Norwegian pilots.”
Adding to Ryanair’s woes, many passengers were left stranded at London Stansted Airport after adverse weather forced cancellations.
Posts on social media showed huge queues at check-in with one person describing it as a “massive cock up”.
Jacobs added: “We asked VC to provide us with at least seven days’ notice of any planned strike action so that we could notify our customers of cancelled flights in advance and offer them alternative flights or refunds, but they have refused to do this and instead call an unnecessary strike in Germany in just two days’ time.
“Ryanair is ready to continue these negotiations. We again call on the VC to remove the threat of an unjustified and unnecessary strike, to commit to providing reasonable (seven days) notice of strike action and to accept our invitations to meet for meaningful negotiations on a CLA for our German pilots and minimise disruption to German customers.
“Ryanair is now forced to cancel 250 flights of over 2,400 flights scheduled to operate on Friday. We apologise to our customers for this unnecessary strike and regrettable disruption.”