Belfast Telegraph

UK Ryanair pilots signal support for industrial action

Malta move: Michael O’Leary
Malta move: Michael O’Leary

By John Mulligan

Ryanair pilots in the UK who are members of trade union Balpa have indicated that they support industrial action over pay and conditions.

The results of the indicative ballot - first reported by Reuters - could spell trouble for Ryanair as it moves into a summer travel season that's already shaping up to be challenging for airlines and tour operators.

Ryanair said it doesn't comment on "rumour or speculation".

A memo, sent to Balpa union members on Monday, said 90% of pilots balloted supported the non-binding call for industrial action, said Reuters.

However, it did not say how many pilots took part.

News of the ballot also came as Ryanair confirmed that it's establishing a new subsidiary, Malta Air, on the Mediterranean island. It will also move more than 50 Ryanair jets onto the country's aircraft register over the next year from Germany, France and Italy.

Ryanair will also move six aircraft already based in Malta to the island's aircraft register.

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Some 200 Malta-based Ryanair crew members will move onto local contracts that will see them pay Maltese taxes. Ryanair, whose chief executive is Michael O'Leary, said it will increase the number of aircraft in its Malta fleet to 10 within three years, creating more than 350 jobs.

The airline will also move aircraft from France, Italy and Germany onto its new Malta air operator's certificate, allowing crews on those jets to pay income tax in France, Italy and Germany instead of in Ireland.

Belfast Telegraph