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Pilot union BALPA urges Ryanair to improve working conditions

22 September 2017

Ryanair PLC (LON:RYA) saw its shares retreat again today as investors attended its 2017 AGM today, amid worries over a protracted battle after the discount airline's pilots rejected a one-off bonus to work extra hours to help it overcome an issue which has led to the cancellation of a large number of flights.

Pilots at London Stansted, Dublin, Frankfurt and Berlin have now been offered an additional 10,000 euros per year, O'Leary told a news conference.

In response to the offer the Employee Representative Council, which represents 17 Ryanair bases, said the majority of their colleagues had voted in favour to reject the proposal. The Guardian newspaper also reported that Ryanair pilots are trying organize a protest under which they would refuse to do any work beyond what is required by their contracts, which would cause more scheduling headaches for the airline.

Ryanair is cancelling 40 to 50 flights daily for the next six weeks, till the end of October, after it admitted to having "messed up" the planning of pilot holidays.

As a result, the airline said it had to allocate annual leave to pilots in September and October.

Mr O'Leary said the airline had "some goodies" to propose to pilots, but added: "If pilots misbehave, that will be the end of the goodies".

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Ryanair estimates that the total cost will be as much as 25 million euros ($30 million) for the cancellations, which were sparked by the over-allocation of pilots' holidays during a relatively busy period.

Ryanair is accused of breaking European Union law because it is failing to tell customers whose flights have been cancelled about their right to compensation.

Customers have been left angry and in tears as they have been forced to call an expensive premium hotline, jammed with other distressed callers, in order to ask for refunds and new flights home.Some have been unable to return to work after their trips, and cost an unaffordable amount in unexpected hotel bills. One used the word "revolt".

Pilots will be told that the airline will "make it up to you".

Separately, some Ryanair pilots have spoken to the BBC about a "toxic" atmosphere and how they felt "undervalued".

Ryanair expects to have processed over 300,000 alternative routings or refunds for customers - over 95% of affected customers - by the end of this week.

Pilot union BALPA urges Ryanair to improve working conditions