Ryanair pilots went on a 24-hour strike on Friday in several European countries in protest against the stagnation of negotiations on wages and working condition, forcing the Irish low-cost airline to cancel 400 flights on Friday affecting thousands of people.
The walk-out involved staff in Germany, Sweden, Ireland, Belgium and the Netherlands. The action was the largest in a series of strikes held earlier, the BBC reported. The cancelled flights were from the 2,400 scheduled flights.
Around 55,000 passengers across Europe were expected to be affected by the strike, almost 42,000 of them in Germany, where 250 flights were reported to be hit.
"Despite the regrettable and unjustified strike action taking place in 5 of our 37 markets on Friday, over 2,000 flights (85 per cent) of the schedule will operate as normal", a Ryanair statement said.
Ryanair, Europe's largest low-cost carrier, averted widespread strikes before Christmas by agreeing to recognize unions for the first time in its 30-year history.
But there have been protests ever since over the negotiation of collective labour agreements. About 300 Ryanair flights were cancelled in July when cabin crews in Belgium, Portugal and Spain went on strike for 48 hours.
Kenny Jacobs, the chief marketing officer at Ryanair, said earlier that the airline was "not prepared to concede to unreasonable demands that will compromise either our low fares or our highly efficient model".
Shares in Ryanair dipped 1 per cent on Friday. The stock was down roughly 30 per cent from a record high set in 2017.
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