Hundreds of Ryanair flights cancelled today as pilots strike in five countries

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A spokesperson said: "Despite regrettable and unjustified strike action taking place in 5 of our 37 markets on Friday (10 Aug), over 2,000 Ryanair flights (85% of our schedule) will operate as normal tomorrow carrying nearly 400,000 customers across Europe". They would have the option of a refund, rebooking on the next flight or rerouting.

But Ryanair, in a statement said "there will be no cancellations (of flights to and from the Netherlands) as a result of the unnecessary strike action by the Dutch pilot union".

The Dutch pilot union, VNV, had earlier this week described today's strike as a "wake-up call" for Ryanair.

The company calls the strikes "regrettable and unjustified".

Last month cabin crew on Ryanair flights serving Belgium, Spain, Portugal and Italy downed tools.

But pilots counter that Ryanair has refused to engage in meaningful dialogue about collective labour agreements since it began recognising unions in December 2017. But a court said yesterday Ryanair pilots in the Netherlands could not be prevented from doing so.

Aircrafts of low-priced airliner Ryanair are parked at the tarmac of Weeze airport near the German-Dutch border during a wider European strike of Ryanair airline crews to protest slow progress in negotiating a collective labour agreement at Weeze airport, Germany, August 10, 2018.

Thousands of Ryanair customers have been affected by strike action today.

Staff are holding a 24-hour walkout over pay and conditions.

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Staff claim this creates huge insecurity for them, blocking their access to state benefits in their country.

It's perhaps one of the most disheartening feelings in the world when you've spent your hard earned cash, done your holiday shopping and told everyone and their dog that you're off to spend a holiday in the sun, to then be told that lift-off isn't quite ready to happen.

A Dutch court also rejected a case from Ryanair seeking to block pilots in the Netherlands from joining Friday's strike, but the Irish airline said all of its flights there would run as scheduled.

He added that Ryanair had already offered a 20% pay increase this year, and that 80% of its pilots in Germany were now on permanent contracts.

Ryanair has repeatedly said it remained open to further talks with pilot representatives.

Ryanair flight information at Berlin airport on Friday.

It has already threatened to move part of its Dublin fleet to Poland, which could cost 300 jobs, including 100 pilot positions.

"We want again to apologise to customers affected by this necessary disruption and we ask the striking unions to continue negotiations instead of calling anymore unjustified strikes".