A Ryanair Boeing 737-800 plane taxis at Lisbon’s airport, Portugal, on September 27 2018. Picture: REUTERS/RAFAEL MARCHANTE
A Ryanair Boeing 737-800 plane taxis at Lisbon’s airport, Portugal, on September 27 2018. Picture: REUTERS/RAFAEL MARCHANTE

London — Ryanair has inked deals with more unions across Europe, the Irish no-frills airline said on Friday as it looks to avoid further strike action threatened by pilots and cabin crew.

“These signed agreements with our pilot unions in Portugal, the UK, Italy, and shortly in Spain, demonstrate the considerable progress we’re making in concluding union agreements with our people in our major EU markets,” Ryanair’s head of human resources Eddie Wilson said in a company statement.

But the latest agreements are only a stepping stone towards the key demand of Ryanair staff outside Ireland that the airline stop employing them under Irish legislation. Employees argue that the status quo creates huge insecurity for them, blocking access to state benefits in their own countries.

Ryanair’s statement came one day after Belgian unions representing the airline’s cabin crew threatened “several strike days before the end of the year” by Europe-wide employees.

Ryanair pilots across Europe staged a 24-hour stoppage in September to push their demands for better pay and conditions too, plunging tens of thousands of passengers into transport chaos at the peak of the busy summer season.

In July, meanwhile, strikes by cockpit and cabin crew disrupted 600 flights in Belgium, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain, affecting 100,000 travelers.

Earlier this month, Ryanair slashed its profits forecast and signaled job losses in the Netherlands and Germany as it reported on the fallout of the pan-European strikes.

An update on its earnings outlook and past performance is due on Monday when Ryanair publishes half-year results.

AFP