Ryanair claims to have defied the first day of a two-day strike by some pilots by operating all flights from UK airports.
Members of the British Airline Pilots Association walked out after the budget airline lost a bid in the High Court in London to prevent the 48-hour industrial action.
Ryanair said that all flights to and from UK airports departed as scheduled with a 92% punctuality due to some air traffic control delays.
“We wish to thank all our UK pilots who have chosen to work to protect the flights and travel plans of our customers and their families over the bank holiday weekend,” the carrier added.
However, the union described the walk out by its members as a “wake-up call” to the airline.
A further 48-hour walkout is planned by the union to coincide with the end of the summer holidays in early September.
Balpa is calling for a “consistent and transparent pay structure, adequate pension provision, loss of licence insurance and more appropriate maternity benefits”.
General secretary Brian Strutton said: “Time and again Ryanair management has shown its head is in the sand when it comes to its workforce. We’ve tried on numerous occasions to get them round the negotiating table, but they flatly refuse.
“But their pilots are determined to be heard. Our argument is not with passengers but with the company and we hope this walk out will signal the resolve of our members.
“Ryanair pilots simply want to bring about change in the company that will ensure its workforce are entitled to benefits that are seen across aviation in many other companies.
“The figures banded about by Ryanair when it comes to our pay claim are simply ridiculous, bumped up, fictitious spin.
“Ryanair needs to wake up to the reality that its pilots are determined to seek change. They need to put a serious offer on the table so that this industrial action, brought about by the company’s flat refusal to even look at the needs of its workforce and passengers, can be brought to an end.”
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