DUBLIN, Sept 13 (Reuters) - Ryanair will seek to minimise disruption to passengers by cancelling a small number of flights in advance if cabin crew in five countries go through with a threat of further strike action this month, the Irish airline said on Thursday.
Europe’s largest low-cost carrier has struggled to curb an industrial relations revolt in recent months and suffered its latest strike on Wednesday when pilots and crew in Germany forced the cancellation of 150 of its 400 German flights.
Unions representing cabin crew in five countries - including No. 2 and 3 markets Italy and Spain - are due to announce on Thursday whether they will hold a joint strike in late September.
Ryanair said that even if there is another cabin crew strike, it expects a significant majority of its cabin crew in Spain, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Portugal to work normally, as they have during previous strikes
“If there is a further unsuccessful cabin crew strike on September 28 next then, as we demonstrated in Germany yesterday, Ryanair will pre-advise customers of a small number of flight cancellations,” Ryanair Chief Marketing Officer Kenny Jacobs said in a statement.
Ryanair suffered its worst ever strikes this summer over the slow progress in negotiating collective labour agreements with pilots and cabin crew.
Although it secured a breakthrough in August when it reached a deal with striking Irish pilots, unions representing pilots and cabin crew in Germany threatened further walkouts if Ryanair did not make an improved offers on terms and pay.
Chief Executive Michael O’Leary said on Wednesday that the airline, which flies around 2,500 flights each day, was willing to accept strikes if that was the cost of defending its low-cost business model. (Reporting by Padraic Halpin Editing by Keith Weir)