File photograph of Ryanair planes. / SUR

Ryanair boss expects Spanish cabin crew strikes to have 'minimal impact' with 'no flight cancellations'

The budget airline's CEO Eddie Wilson has told SUR that the unions calling for industrial action on six dates, starting 24 June, were blackmailing both the company and the travellers

Pilar Martínez

Ryanair CEO Eddie Wilson has told SUR that not many Spanish-based staff would follow the strikes called by the USO and Sitcpla unions and that the Spanish government was in any case insisting on high levels of minimum services, obliging most to go to work.

"We believe that there will be no flight cancellations, despite the call", said Wilson, adding, "we believe stoppages are not going to have a great follow-up and that the impact will be minimal."

Six days of strikes have been scheduled by the unions for tomorrow, June 25, 26 and 30, as well as July 1 and 2.

Speaking to the newspaper during a visit to Malaga he said the unions were blackmailing both the company and the travellers. Wilson claimed the two unions calling for industrial action are looking for a 165 per cent increase in wages and that a good deal had already been reached by the airline with the larger CC OO union.

Eddie Wilson, CEO of Ryanair, outside the Museo Thyssen in Malaga / SALVADOR SALAS

Wilson, had travelled to the capital of the Costa del Sol for a meeting with the mayor of the city, Francisco de la Torre, and expressed Ryanair's willingness to "explore new business opportunities and listen to the city's tourism and technological development plans. We are interested in connectivity. Malaga is a fantastic destination in which there is very little seasonality and in which the arrival of large technology companies and professionals who want to telework from the capital of the Costa del Sol is increasing", he said, adding that "in Madrid we have our Ryanair innovation and development centre. We are always interested in hearing about options and seeing what Malaga is doing. It's a very vibrant economy and we want to grow with it."