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Pilot union BALPA urges Ryanair to improve working conditions

BALPA has declared its willingness to help Ryanair improve working conditions in order to facilitate recruitment and retention of pilots, after a lack of available flightcrew led to the budget carrier's cancellation of 2,100 flights over the next six weeks.

The UK union is urging the airline to "do more to encourage pilots to stay with the airline, following news of its pilot holiday chaos" and to foster a "more attractive place for people to build their career".

In the union's statement, BALPA general secretary Brian Strutton suggests that "it seems Ryanair has been just about scraping through the summer schedule" and that "having no flexibility in the system – coupled with a miscalculation of pilot annual leave – has led to this disastrous situation."

He adds: "We believe these working conditions are leading to pilots leaving the airline after a few years to go work for other airlines."

Strutton states that BALPA has 500 unemployed pilots on its books who would be "more than happy to work for Ryanair, should working conditions be improved in the airline".

Ryanair says: "We don't comment on rumour or speculation, especially when it originates from competitor pilot unions."

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