Pilots from five countries are set to walk off the job on Friday

A court in the Netherlands has confirmed that Dutch Ryanair pilots are allowed to strike tomorrow.

The airline had tried to prevent them from joining their colleagues in Ireland, Sweden, Germany and Belgium.

The court ruled in the union's favour this evening but said it must give 72 hours notice of any further strikes.

The Dutch union was quick to confirm the ruling:

Ryanair has now cancelled hundreds of flights with tens of thousands of passengers affected.

In a statement this evening, the airline said 15% of its flights have been cancelled tomorrow.

Employment law professor at Maynooth University, Michael Doherty, says the strikes could cause problems for the company's long-term business.

The danger for Ryanair is while it might contain the number of passengers affected on Friday, people are thinking about booking October, Christmas, New Year trips.

"And the question is: are they confidence now that Ryanair will get them out of this?

"And to be honest, there isn't a great sign of any movement forwards in terms of resolution from the company side".

A Ryanair sign at Adolfo Suarez Madrid-Barajas International Airport in Madrid, Spain | Image: NurPhoto/SIPA USA/PA Images

A number of Ryanair pilots based in the Netherlands and Germany are to strike on Friday.

The strike will affect flights for 24 hours, and will coincide with work stoppages in Ireland, Belgium and Sweden.

The Dutch Airline Pilots Association (VNV / Dutch ALPA) said yesterday: "This European pilot strike should be a wake up call for the Ryanair management."

"The Dutch ALPA demands are modest: Dutch law should be applied; no more bogus self-employment and a sufficient sick pay and pension."

The Vereinigung Cockpit union said all departures from German airports will be affected.

The German strike has led to the cancellation of 250 flights to/from the country.

Martin Locher, president of Vereinigung Cockpit, said: "We demand improvements in pay and working conditions.

"Improvements are inconceivable without an increase in personnel cockpit costs.

"During negotiations Ryanair categorically ruled out any such increases.

"At the same time, Ryanair has not shown any interest to find solutions. It is only Ryanair, which is responsible for the escalation which has now taken place".

The industrial action on Friday in Germany coincides with pilot strikes in Ireland, Belgium and Sweden.

Some 20 out of 300 Irish flights have been cancelled, affecting 3,500 passengers.

While 104 flights to/from Belgium have been cancelled, along with 22 flights to/from Sweden.