Airline says the action over pay and conditions is "regrettable and unjustified".

Ryanair is facing widespread disruption across Europe today - with strike action in five countries including Ireland.

Dublin based pilots are walking off the job for a 5th day - joining their colleagues in Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands and Belgium.

Almost 400 flights have been cancelled - affecting around 70,000 passengers.

Bernard Harbor from the FORSA trade union says both sides are still some way off reaching a deal:

"The company 8 months ago said it would recognise unions, the pilots in Ryanair that we represent now, are determined to use that change to improve their working conditions.

And also I have to say that the company's decision the week before last to threaten redundancies or transferring pilots to Poland for the winter has stiffened that resolve and made pilots more determined to stand up for themselves."

 

Crucial 3rd party talks aimed at resolving the dispute here are due to get underway next week and Angela Kirk from Forsa says she's optimistic but realistic.

"The company has engaged in a process of negotiation over the airwaves by putting out on twitter... inaccurate reflections of outcomes of meetings. So we're going into the process in that type of environment. It will be difficult but we're committed to putting our best foot forward."

Germany will be worst hit by the industrial action – with 250 flights cancelled at ten airports.

Reuters reporter Victoria Bryan is in Berlin and says although 40 thousand passengers are affected - the public still has a lot of sympathy for the pilots:

"A tradition of unions having a say in company strategy and having strong union contract - it's a very strong tradition here and people really respect that and believe that's what helped the German economy."

The pilots are also being supported by other countries and organisations: