LONDON: Ryanair's Irish pilots went on strike for a fourth day on Friday, disrupting flights at Europe's biggest no-frills airline, with a fifth day of industrial action planned next week.
The Irish carrier scrapped 20 flights out of a planned 300, seven per cent of the total, affecting 3,500 passengers.
The Irish pilots, who took three days of industrial action last month, are demanding better working conditions.
However, the dispute has escalated since Ryanair announced plans last week to move planes from Dublin to Poland, which could cost 300 jobs, including 100 pilots.
On Thursday, pilots warned there would be a fifth day of strikes on August 10, when the airline's Belgian and Swedish pilots will also be on strike.
Pilots in Germany and the Netherlands are considering joining in.
Unrest surfaced at Ryanair following a planning mix-up in September 2017 which led to 20,000 flights being cancelled.
The crisis led to a U-turn at Ryanair, which started negotiations with trade unions in several countries.
Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary waived his hefty yearly bonus, according to the airline's annual report out Monday. Ryanair condemned the planned fifth day of strikes, called by the Irish public service trade union Forsa.
"This fifth strike notice by Forsa is irresponsible, unwarranted and is disrupting customers and (a way of damaging) Ryanair's business," Ryanair's chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs said in a statement.
Jacobs said the strike was called by a quarter of Irish pilots.
"A handful of Aer Lingus pilots are working behind the scenes with pilot unions in Sweden, Holland, Belgium, and Germany to further disrupt Ryanair's business," he said.
Forsa should explain why, "when Ryanair has agreed nine of their 11 requirements, they call strikes rather than negotiate", the statement said.