More Ryanair flight cancellations could be on the way 3 years ago

More Ryanair flight cancellations could be on the way

Their AGM is taking place this afternoon.

Ryanair's annual general meeting takes place this afternoon with the prospect of a work-to-rule by their pilots looming large.

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As previously stated, the airline has cancelled up to 50 flights every day for the next six weeks due to an alleged over-allocation of pilots' holidays during this busy period.

Earlier this week, the airline wrote to pilots offering them bonus payments of up to €12,000, deferred for a year, if they surrendered some of their annual leave entitlements.

As reported by the BBC, Ryanair pilots have rejected this bonus to work extra days.

In a letter that was seen by the BBC, pilot representatives have stated that "the pilot market is changing, and Ryanair will need to change the ways which the pilots and management work together to ensure a stable and common future for everyone" and any new contracts that are issued "should help stop the large number of colleagues who are leaving for 'greener pastures'".

Evan Cullen, President of the Irish Airline Pilots Association, was a guest on BBC Newsnight and he elaborated on this decision by the pilots to reject Ryanair's offer.

"There's considerable dismay at the offers that came out in the last few days. Our information is that these (offers) will be rejected. The fundamental approach of Ryanair about how it employs their pilots is really at the heart of this issue and also, trust. Many pilots, although they see this offer being made to them, many of them have said to us that they don't believe they (Ryanair) will honour these agreements if they signed up to them," Cullen said.

Regarding the main issue of contention, Cullen stated that Ryanair still don't get it.

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"One of the main pillars in this grievance is that many of the Ryanair pilots do not have a fixed permanent contract. What they have is precarious employment, atypical employment, which means that pilots are grouped into companies which have between five and eight pilot directors. Those companies are then subcontracted into a UK labour provider of pilots and then that UK labour provider will provide the pilot labour into Ryanair. This gives an extraordinary arm's length distance between Ryanair and the pilot."

Regarding a solution, Cullen believes that what's currently on offer isn't sufficient. "There has to be a fundamental approach with regards to how Ryanair deals with their pilots. The latest offer is a sticking plaster approach rather than a fundamental change about what's needed. That's the point of anger from most pilots. Ryanair aren't dealing with the fundamental grievance of pilots."

The airline's chief executive, Michael O'Leary, will be in attendance at Ryanair's annual general meeting, which takes place this afternoon.