Ryanair pilots are to strike from today for 24 hours, affecting thousands of passengers.
For the duration of the day (12 July) pilots will strike over disagreements on seniority and promotions after 99 per cent supported the action according to pilot union Forsa.
Ryanair has refuted the claim and state only 27 per cent supported the strike in the Republic of Ireland.
The budget airline has cancelled 30 out of 290 flights, some of which will be between the UK and Ireland.
Passengers who are affected have been messaged by text and email and will be offered a refund.
Ireland to Europe flights remain unaffected by the strike.
Ryanair issued a statement, which said: “We regret to advise some Irish customers of a strike by just 94 (27 per cent) of our 350+ Irish pilots on Thursday, 12 July.
“We have tried to avert this disruption, which is unnecessary given Ryanair pilots’ and their union FORSA has received written proposals on seniority, annual leave and base transfers, which are what FORSA claims are the reasons for this strike, yet FORSA has rejected 21 separate invitations to meet Ryanair to negotiate these documents.”
Regarding those who are affected, they warned: “We regrettably must plan for some disruptions on Thurs, and try to minimise their impact, especially upon Irish customers and their families travelling on holidays to Portugal, France, Spain, Italy and Greece.
“We will do this by cancelling a number of flights on high-frequency routes from Ireland to London and other UK Province destinations where customers can transfer readily to other flights on Thurs or switch their travel to later on Fri, Sat or subsequent days.”
FR504 06:35 Bristol
FR442 07:05 Liverpool
FR172 09:45 Newcastle
FR554 10:35 Manchester
FR664 10:45 Birmingham
FR114 11:05 London Gatwick
FR156 16:05 Leeds Bradford
FR211 16:30 London Stansted
FR142 16:45 London Gatwick
FR446 17:50 Liverpool
FR118 19:20 London Gatwick
FR508 19:40 Bristol
FR5776 20:30 Glasgow
FR174 20:55 Newcastle
FR9301 19:25 Girona
Ryanair cabin crew members could also strike later this month on 25 July due to issues with pay and promotions.
Carolina Vicente, Travel Expert at Columbus Direct advised travellers who are affected that “as Ryanair is a European airline, if you are due to travel during this time and your flight is cancelled you are protected by the Denied Boarding Regulation”.
Options could mean “an alternative flight with the airline to your destination” or a full cancellation and refund.
Passengers should be advised that once they accept a refund, “the airline no longer have a duty of care towards you” which means all further expenses are at the traveller’s own expense.
“Denied Boarding Regulation only applies if you are travelling from a European airport or to a European airport on an EU airline,” Ms Vicente warned.
Ryanair recently explained half of their flights were delayed due to ATC staff shortages, something National Air Traffic Services (NATS) refuted.
The low-cost airline tweeted on Sunday 44 per cent of their flights were delayed due to this reason.
However, NATS explained: “NATS handles 25 per cent of European traffic and has an extremely good punctuality record – we are maintaining that record despite a big growth in air traffic.”
They also tweeted Ryanair: “There were actually no ATC staffing delays in the whole of the UK yesterday.”
Ryanair retorted: “British and German ATC providers continue to hide behind adverse weather and euphemisms such as ‘capacity restrictions’ when the tree is they are not rostering enough ATC staff to cater for the number of flights that are scheduled to operate.”