Ryanair strike in Belgium: 96 flights canceled this weekend while waiting for worse?

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THE pilots Belgium-based airline Ryanair low cost carried out a second weekend of strike, leading to the cancellation of nearly one hundred flights affecting some 17,000 passengers to and from Charleroi.

After a first strike on July 15 and 16, 2023 at the airport of Charleroi-Brussels South (which had led to nearly 120 flight cancellations and affected nearly 20,000 passengers), the unions representing the Belgian-based pilots of the Irish budget flight specialist did it again on Saturday July 29 and Sunday July 30, 2023. Still at the call of unions ACV Puls and CNE, who criticize the management of Ryanair for not wanting to respect the collective agreement providing for a certain number of days off “in exchange for the wage cuts of around 20% granted in 2020 at the time of the crisis of Covid-19”.

This last movement, which did not involve operations at Brussels-Zaventem airport, resulted in a total 96 flight cancellations in Charleroi, including 50 on Saturday (including to and from Nîmes, Bordeaux, Carcassonne, Toulouse, Rabat or Nador among others), and 46 yesterday mainly to the same destinations. According to Charleroi airport, around 28% of traffic scheduled for these two days was affected by the strike

After their relative success in mid-July (Ryanair claimed to have provided 60% of its flight schedule, despite the immobilization on the ground of around ten of the 16 Boeing 737s based at BSCA), the unions threatened to relaunch labor strikes. two days in August, or even every month until October “if nothing changes”. The demands of Ryanair’s PNTs are always the same: the low cost would like to go from the 5 days on/4 days off rhythm to 5/3, and more generally refuses to restore the wages cut during the health crisis.

Questioned by the RTBF, the pilot and union delegate André Faber explained that his colleagues were ” obviously sorry for the passengers but we have to make our voices heard. We have not succeeded, in several months of negotiations, to regain the salary we had before the Covid period. This is a decrease of 17%. With the inflation of recent months, it is a impossible situation for us “. And he warned potential customers: “ Think twice before taking your next Ryanair ticket. Our short strike notice until October 2024so you risk other strikes by then, if the management does not bend “.

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