A planned strike by Ryanair pilots based in Ireland looks set to go ahead on Thursday.
Ryanair this afternoon confirmed up to 30 flights between the UK and Ireland will be cancelled as a result of the strike.
However, flights between Ireland and the rest of Europe will not be impacted.
In a statement, Ryanair said: "We have tried to avert this disruption, which is unnecessary given Ryanair pilots’ and their union Fórsa has received written proposals on seniority, annual leave and base transfers, which are what Fórsa claims are the reasons for this strike."
Affected customers will be offered refunds, free transfers to alternative flights on other days this week, or "alternative transport on comparable operators (both flights & ferries) where there is some limited space available".
Ryanair to cancel up to 30 of 290 Irish flights on Thurs 12 July, only some IRE-UK flights affected.
All Ireland to Europe flights to operate as normal as majority of Irish pilots fly on Thurs: https://t.co/gsHntPvAeV
— Ryanair (@Ryanair) July 10, 2018
Planes will be grounded for 24 hours despite both sides in the row agreeing to enter talks tomorrow.
Yesterday the Irish Airline Pilots’ Association (IALPA) said the strike was likely to go ahead despite the talks.
The dispute between the airline and its pilots centres on issues such as union recognition, base transfers and seniority.
Michael Doherty, professor in employment law at Maynooth University, said both sides have a vested interest in preventing any stoppages:
“On the union side, the reality is that if the people are not working, they are not getting paid so that focuses the mind,” he said.
“On the company side you would like to think that however bitter the personal relations; one of the great things about Ryanair’s business model; what has made it so successful is it is relentlessly pragmatic.
“Last year, when there was clear staff unrest, Ryanair came out and said right, despite everything we said, we are going to recognise unions now.”
IALPA offers to accept #Ryanair invitation to meet. https://t.co/5dhStGjg7Z "However, Fórsa said the union expects that Thursday’s scheduled industrial action will go ahead." pic.twitter.com/FFt2ZocFSQ
— Fórsa Trade Union (@forsa_union_ie) July 9, 2018
Both sides in the dispute are due to meet in the Seán Lemass Room at Terminal One in Dublin Airport tomorrow morning.
Ryanair had originally insisted it would only meet at its head office in Swords, however the company yesterday agreed to meet in a neutral venue – a key union demand.
Pilots are calling for a new seniority agreement with the airline.
They also want a clear system to deal with issues including base transfers and annual leave.