Ryanair Pilots based in Belgium, identified as Ryanair Pilots, are gearing up for another round of strikes on Thursday, September 14th, and Friday, September 15th, according to an announcement by the CNE and ACV Puls unions. This upcoming strike will mark the fourth time Ryanair Pilots have taken industrial action in just two months since the start of the summer. In the preceding months, Ryanair Pilots already went on strike during the weekends of July 15-16, July 29-30, and August 14-15, coinciding with the Assumption holiday weekend. Notably, the choice of September 14th for the strike isn’t arbitrary, as it aligns with a general meeting of the Irish low-cost airline’s shareholders scheduled for that very day.
Ryanair Pilots’ Demands
Pilots are raising key demands, emphasizing “strict compliance with Belgian law, payment of arrears, and the initiation of negotiations without preconditions.” A primary objective for Pilots is to restore their salaries to pre-Covid levels, following significant cuts (-50% for management, -10% for cabin crew, and -20% for pilots) imposed during the pandemic. Another pressing concern centers around their rest time, as Ryanair aims to deviate from a collective labor agreement set to expire in October 2024. This is why the strike notice issued by Belgian Pilots extends until that date.
Impact and Ongoing Dispute
The impact of these strikes by Ryanair Pilots in Belgium remains localized, affecting only Charleroi Airport (Brussels-South), where no Ryanair aircraft are currently based. Unfortunately, there appears to be no immediate resolution in sight for this ongoing dispute. On one side of the table, the unions are calling upon Prime Minister Alexander De Croo and the Walloon authorities for intervention. Conversely, Ryanair continues to hold its ground, citing its robust financial results, and attempting to downplay the labor dispute’s impact by enlisting pilots from other countries.