Pilot union BALPA urges Ryanair to improve working conditions

Ryanair cancelled flights list UK Stansted

The low-priced carrier said last week it would cancel as many as 50 flights a day until the end of October after misallocating pilot holiday until the end of the year.

Ryanair had offered captains a one-off payment of £12,000 or 12,000 euros, and first officers £6,000 or 6,000 euros, but representatives said they wanted new contracts and better working conditions instead.

Ryanair's annual general meeting takes place today against a backdrop of mass flight cancellations and a group of pilots rejecting a proposed bonus scheme to encourage them to give up some annual leave due to them.

He admitted "significant management failure" regarding the rostering of pilots, and warned that the moves would not guarantee an end to disruptions.

"I would challenge any pilot to explain how this is a hard job or how it is they are overworked or how anybody who by law can't fly more than 18 hours a week could possibly be suffering from fatigue", he said at Ryanair's annual shareholder meeting on Thursday, according to The Guardian. However Michael O'Leary has told the Ryanair AGM that pilots "do not want unionisation".

Chief executive Michael O'Leary will tell pilots who plan to take four weeks of consecutive holiday in the coming months will be told to reduce it to three weeks, with the lost leave to be taken in January.

Until now, they say, they've been scattered and isolated, making them much less powerful.

It said new contracts "should help stop the large number of colleagues who are leaving for 'greener pastures'".

They seem to have found that voice.

Several Ryanair pilots have contacted The Independent with their accounts of the causes and consequences of the issue in recent days, with one saying that online groups are forming and "unifying to get Ryanair to make improvements". With pilots rejecting the latest offer, there is a risk of more cancellations in the future.

"One of the main pillars in the grievance, is that numerous Ryanair pilots do not have a fixed permanent contract", he told Newsnight.

Separately, some Ryanair pilots have spoken to the BBC about a "toxic" atmosphere and how they felt "undervalued".

"Ryanair" hopes to process the requests of over 95% of affected customers by the end of this week, the report said.

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