Ryanair pilots to stage further strike

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Some 20 Ryanair flights scheduled to fly between Ireland and the United Kingdom next Friday have been cancelled ahead of the day's strike, affecting around 3,500 passengers.

Ryanair spokesperson Kenny Jacob responded to news of the strikes and said: "This fifth strike notice by Forsa is irresponsible, unwarranted and is disrupting customers".

The budget airline's pilots in Germany and Holland have also overwhelmingly backed industrial action, but are yet to confirm any dates for walkouts.

Ryanair shares were down 0.2% at 12.98 euros by 1455 GMT, near two-year lows and well below the level hit in December, when it shocked the markets by ending 32 years of refusing to recognise unions. It has been forced to cancel flights on high-frequency routes from Ireland and axed 300 flights per day over two days of cabin crew walk-outs last month.

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It said on Thursday that it would contact another 3,500 passengers to inform them of 20 further cancellations on August 10.

A banner set up by some of Ryanair's Ireland-based pilots on strike is seen at Ryanair headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, Aug. 3, 2018.

"FORSA has called for meetings with Ryanair, yet during each of the last two weeks when Ryanair has invited FORSA to meet FORSA has rejected these invitations and instead called for a 4th strike tomorrow (3 Aug), and now a 5th strike (next Friday 10 Aug)".

The airline is bracing itself for another round of strike action next Friday, when 25 per cent of its pilots will strike.

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"After a year of negotiations, the failure of Ryanair to recognise Sepla and apply Spanish labour legislation for the pilots who operate in Spain forces the union to take a legal path to attain this objective", the union said.

In a statement this afternoon, the Irish pilots' union Fórsa blamed Ryanair for escalating this summer's ongoing dispute by warning of potential job cuts last Wednesday.

Last month, a Dutch appeals court ruled that Ryanair employees who are based in the Netherlands were covered by Dutch law.

Ryanair refused to say anything on the lawsuit, saying it did not "comment on rumor or speculation".

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