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Ryanair pilot strikes ground 14,000 passengers in Spain
RYANAIR has cancelled 396 of its 2,400 flights across Europe today (Friday) as a result of pilot strikes in five countries.
Although the industrial action does not include pilots in Spain, around 14,000 passengers travelling to and from the country are expected to be affected by delays and cancellations.
The 24-hour strike staged by pilots in Germany, the Republic of Ireland, Belgium, Sweden, and The Netherlands will affect 67,000 passengers on the continent, according to unions, although the airline estimates the figure to be nearer 55,000.
A total of 41 connections in either direction – 82 flights in total – to and from Spanish airports have been cancelled.
These were due to take off from or land in Tenerife South, Gran Canaria, Madrid, Barcelona, Girona, Alicante-Elche, Málaga-Costa del Sol, Palma de Mallorca, Ibiza, Almería, Jerez de la Frontera (Cádiz province), Santander, Vitoria (Basque Country) and Zaragoza (Aragón).
Alicante-Elche is the worst-hit in Spain, with 14 flights, or seven connections in either direction, called off, of which five connections, or 10 flights involve German airports – Düsseldorf International, Düsseldorf Weeze, Berlin Schönfeld, Frankfurt international and Cologne.
The other cancelled flights to and from Alicante-Elche connect with Brussels-Charleroi and Stockholm-Skavsta.
To and from Palma de Mallorca, 12 flights have been grounded, whilst 10 each are cancelled to and from Barcelona-El Prat and Madrid's Adolfo Suárez-Barajas airport.
But as these are only the flights previously cancelled by Ryanair itself, the number may climb throughout the course of the day as backlogs ensue.
This is the first collective pilot strike in Ryanair's 36-year history, and relates to working conditions and pay.
For the same reasons, cabin crew from Spain, Portugal, Italy and Belgium went on strike over July 25 and 26.
Pilots also went on strike in Ireland at the beginning of August, leading to chaos at London Stansted airport with a high number of flights cancelled.
Ryanair has assured that the impact on customers today will be 'minimal' and that the majority have already been given seats on other flights run by the company.
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