Up to 5,000 Ryanair passengers have flights cancelled by first pilots' strike

Getty Images Ryanair strikes Ryanair use over 350 pilots at its three Irish bases Dublin Cork and Shannon

Ryanair is expected to notify passengers of any disruption to its flights later today if the Irish pilots' union rejects the airline's last ditch attempt to avert strike action on Thursday.

Cabin crew in Italy will go on strike for 24-hours on 25 July, while crew in Spain, Portugal and Belgium will strike for 48 hours on 25-26 July.

Ryanair said that it will inform the customers likely to be affected by the planned strike through email and text messages by Tuesday, indicating that the airline is prepared for the worst scenario if no talks or agreements before Thursday.

Ryanair said customers on these routes could transfer "readily" to other flights.

The offer was made in a letter sent by Ryanair's Chief People Officer Eddie Wilson to Angela Kirk, Natonal Secretary of Forsa, a parent trade union of Irish Air Line Pilots' Association (IALPA) with which some of Ryanair's pilots who have threatened to strike are members. Ryanair says it invited IALPA to meet at its headquarters in Swords, north Dublin, on 20 separate occasions since January but it has repeatedly turned down the invitation, requesting a neutral venue for which it is even prepared to pay.

Pilots will strike for 24 hours on Thursday. In total, 30 of Ryanair's 290 flights will be cancelled on Thursday.

This week's pilot strike is the first wave of industrial action to hit the low-priced carrier as the summer holiday season expands across the continent.

Ryanair added that further industrial action is a possibility and accused pilots from rival airlines of encouraging the strikes.

Ryanair has said it has asked the union to its offices 18 times to no avail.

Ryanair passengers also had to contend with delays on Sunday and today, with the airline blaming staff shortages at traffic control (ATC) across Europe.

Spanish union Sitcpla representative, Monique Duthiers: "They (Ryanair) are using their transnational nature or the Irish law at (their) convenience".

You can find out the full details here.

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