A three-day pilot and cabin crew strike that began on Friday has grounded the entire Ryanair fleet that is stationed at the airports of Zaventem and Charleroi.
On the first day of the strike, less than 2% of the 3,000 Ryanair flights booked for destinations across Europe were impacted, the low-cost Irish airline reported on Friday. Additionally, over 60% of Ryanair flights to and from Charleroi and Zaventem were in the air, and the unions’ activities in Belgium were mostly restricted to “minimal” inconveniences.
“This just goes to show that 60% of flights are done daily by crews and planes based outside Belgium,” says the CNE Permanent Secretary Didier Lebbe.
In truth, Michael O’Leary of Ryanair had stated that Belgium was just a “minor component of our worldwide business” and that the majority of the company’s aircraft were not stationed there.
Seventeen Ryanair aircraft are stationed in Belgium, with four at Zaventem and thirteen at Charleroi. The strike call was vigorously reacted to by workers in Belgium, who grounded all of these aircraft in “one of the most lucrative nations on the Ryanair network,” according to CNE’s Lebbe.
Ryanair “decided to leave 30,000 people in Belgium without flights rather than comply with Belgian legislation,” according to Silvia, a Spanish CNE representative. She hoped that the government of Belgium would hear the staff’s message.
Lebbe says that if nothing changes, Ryanair pilots in Belgium are highly motivated and may even communicate with their counterparts in the rest of Europe.
On Saturday and Sunday, Ryanair employees in France were supposed to go on strike, which would have caused several cancellations. According to the CNE permanent secretary, unions representing the airline’s personnel in Romania and the Czech Republic have contacted their federations in connection with the current strike movement. British cabin crews have approved a strike that may begin in August.
Didier Lebbe mentioned in the statement, “We are awaiting the company’s action after our trade union action. We shall also analyse the strike.”