Ryanair ‘declaration of war’

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RYANAIR has made a ‘declaration of war’ unions said after it embarked on a campaign of closures and ‘fleet reductions’.

This, according to pilot and cabin crew unions, is a form of ‘punishment’ for the recent strikes across Europe. Ryanair has announced it is closing two bases from 5th November – one in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, and the other in Bremen, Germany – and reducing its fleet at Niederrhein, Germany, from five to three aircraft.

Arthur van de Hudding, president of Dutch pilots’ union VNV, said: ‘This is a declaration of war. If the Ryanair management thinks closing bases is a quick and cheap solution to labour unrest – and the court in the Netherlands sees it differently – they are naive at best and antagonistic at worst. It will never be tolerated by Ryanair employees to de facto curtail their right to strike.’

Meanwhile, four Ryanair crews spent the night on the floor of a Spanish airport office without food or drink, the cabin crew union said. Twenty-four crew members were stranded in Malaga airport after their Porto-bound flights were diverted.

The SNPVAC union, which represents Portuguese airline crews, says they ‘had no choice’ but to put up with the conditions. Crew members were placed in a room between 01:30 and 06:00 ‘without minimum rest facilities’, the union insists, and they were left ‘without access to food, drinks and even a place to sit down, as there were only eight seats available for the 24-person crew.

The union further stated that the crew had no other choice than to attempt to sleep on the floor. ‘It is the legal responsibility of the airline to provide suitable accommodation, namely a hotel room, so that crew can perform their rest under the national and European legal requirements, in order to be able to operate the following duty safely.’