Ryanair plans to make pilots change holidays

Hundreds of thousands of passengers have been affected by the cancellations

Hundreds of thousands of passengers have been affected by the cancellationsNEIL HALL EPA

Mr O'Leary also said that if there was a "blu flu" amongst the pilots, "the ERC wouldn't get a meeting for 16 months".

In a statement on its careers website, Ryanair maintains that it "can offer the best career opportunities and progression in the industry", and provides "generous travel benefits" to its employees.

"If Norwegian Air are holding open days, there's nothing we can do, despite the fact that we have very good terms and conditions".

Rather than diffusing an on-going standoff with his airline's pilots, Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary escalated the situation on Thursday, threatening to cancel some of their scheduled leave and characterizing their jobs as cushy.

Ryanair pilots across Europe are now looking for improved contracts.

Pilots at London Stansted, Dublin, Frankfurt and Berlin were offered the pay rise year, with similar offers at other airports dependent on whether those bases have a surplus of pilots.

In addition, more than a fifth of those affected - more than 63,000 - will be reimbursed the amounts paid by the end of the business day on Wednesday. However Michael O'Leary has told the Ryanair AGM that pilots "do not want unionisation".

Ryanair will also need to spend an extra €30m on hiring pilots.

The analyst pointed out that the brewing spat with pilots coincides with a European Court of Justice's (ECJ) ruling on employment contracts which will serve to weaken Ryanair's low-priced model which depends heavily on the airline keeping a very firm grip on employment costs.

The company's colourful chief executive Michael O'Leary announced the recruitment drive at Ryanair's AGM meeting, now taking place in Dublin.

It had offered 12 thousand euro to pilots to give up their annual leave but they rejected it - some pilots who have holidays booked will now have a week suspended which they'll get back in the new year.

Has your flight been cancelled?

RTÉ News has seen documents which raise the possibility of a work-to-rule by pilots, which would significantly worsen the current disruption to flights at the airline.

All 315,000 affected customers were emailed by Ryanair on Monday to advise them of flight changes, alternative flights, refunds and European Union flight compensation law.

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