A Portuguese woman, who preferred not to give her name, sits at a Ryanair airline check-in desk after her flight to Pisa, Italy, was cancelled during the first of two days cabin crew strike at Adolfo Suarez-Barajas international airport in Madrid, Wednesday, July 25, 2018. Low-cost airline Ryanair cabin crew are to stage a 48-hour strike July 25 and 26 in Spain, Portugal, Italy and Belgium. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

Ryanair cabin crews in 4 European countries go on strike

July 25, 2018 - 4:47 am

MADRID (AP) — Cabin crew workers for low-cost airline Ryanair are holding a two-day strike in four European countries over working conditions, forcing thousands of passengers to make last-minute travel plans at the peak of the summer holiday season.

Unions in Portugal, Spain, Belgium and Italy say employees are hired by Ryanair or its subsidiaries under contracts governed by countries where they are not based, reducing their leave allowances, causing wage disparities, and impeding the workers' access to state benefits.

The Dublin-based airline has published on its website salary slips for June, arguing that pilots and cabin crew are fairly paid.

The company says that all 50,000 customers affected by the cancellation of 600 flights on Wednesday and Thursday were given alternative flights or offered full refunds in past days.

Meanwhile, the airline has also warned some 100 pilots and 200 cabin crew members that they could lose their jobs as it cuts its Dublin-based aircraft fleet from 30 to 24.

The airline says rolling strikes by Irish pilots had hit bookings and consumer confidence in Ireland.

The carrier says it wants to focus on growing markets, such as Poland, where affected employees in Dublin will be offered transfers to.

Ryanair says it operates a fleet of over 450 aircraft from 87 bases.

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