RYANAIR BOSS: Michael O’Leary

RYANAIR has said there may be strikes this Easter thanks to ‘laughable demands’ from its pilots in Europe who want conditions similar to high-cost rivals.

While the low-cost airline managed to dodge Christmas strikes by recognising unions in December for the first time ever, it has struggled to formalise relations since.

Irish boss Michael O’Leary said the Dublin-based carrier was preparing to take on what it sees as unreasonable demands from other pilot unions on the continent.

Referring to the pay and working conditions typical of the higher cost carriers that Ryanair has undermined in recent decades with its ultra-low-cost model, O’Leary said: “We have some jurisdictions where we are getting … laughable demands.”

He added: “Frankly we will never agree to those … if we have to take strikes or disruptions in those jurisdictions, then we will take those.”

But pilots say they only want the same conditions to those at low-cost rivals such as easyJet and Norwegian Air.

Meanwhile others at Ryanair have complained of a toxic working environment and a lack of trust between staff and management.

Pilots are set to refuse a unilateral offer of a pay rise unless they get assurances it won’t impact future talks on pay and conditions.

In January the airline, whose owner is staunchly anti-Brexit, announced that it would put a ‘Brexit clause’ into its ticket sales for summer 2019, warning customers that their tickets will not be valid if there has been no aviation agreement between Britain and the EU.