New Ryanair pilots' walkout planned

Pilots in Germany set to strike for 24 hours on Wednesday in dispute over pay and conditions, with knock-on effects expected to affect passengers across Europe

Ryanair passengers are set to face disruption on Wednesday as some 400 pilots based in Germany stage a 24-hour strike in an ongoing dispute over pay and working conditions.

The strike - the second in a month - has been called by the Vereinigung Cockpit union. It could affect services to France from Germany and Holland, and may lead to further problems even after the strike period ends early on Thursday, with planes not being in the correct locations to operate as scheduled.

Ryanair had not released an update on affected flights on Tuesday morning.

The union said that, despite August's walkout in which some 250 flights out of Germany were cancelled, negotiations with the airline had stalled.

The carrier said in a statement responding to the strike notice: "Since we have already offered local contracts and improved pay there is no justification for further disruption and we are calling on our German pilots to work this Wednesday.”

The union said bargaining agreements with Irish and Italian pilots last month could not serve as blueprints for Germany because key questions on pay and working conditions had not been addressed.

In August, at the height of the summer holiday season, the travel plans of some 55,000 Ryanair customers were hit by a similar walkout by pilots and cabin crew in five European countries.

Seven trades unions representing the budget airline's cabin crew in Italy, Portugal, Belgium, Spain and the Netherlands have threatened further strikes in September.

Meanwhile, continued staff shortages in air traffic control centres across Europe led to delays on about a quarter of flights early on Tuesday.

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