Ryanair's Irish pilots stage fourth day of strikes

On Friday, around a quarter of Ryanair's 350 pilots based in Ireland took part in a fourth one-day strike.

However, the dispute has escalated since Ryanair announced plans last week to move planes from Dublin to Poland, which could cost 300 jobs, including 100 pilots.

Trade union Forsa, which represents the pilots, hit out at the airline company following the warning.

On Thursday, pilots warned there would be a fifth day of strikes on August 10, when the airline's Belgian and Swedish pilots will also be on strike.

Next Fridays picket coincides with a strike by pilots in Sweden and Belgium -their colleagues in Germany and Holland have also backed industrial action but have yet to say when it will happen.

"For over a month, the union has said that industrial action is likely to continue until there is substantial movement on the pilots' reasonable demands for an agreement on a fair and transparent approach to base transfers and related matters", a statement from the union Forsa said.

Cabin crew in Italy, Spain, Portugal and Belgium staged a two-day strike that forced Ryanair to cancel the flights of more than 50,000 customers, the airline's biggest-ever strike. "The union has today told Ryanair that it remains available for talks".

Pilots are demanding more for promotions and transfers to reduce what they say is excessive management discretion over their careers, while cabin crew want local contracts and better conditions.

Ryanair has suggested a third party mediator intervene to break the deadlock between the airline and its striking Irish pilots.

This is the fifth strike by pilots since July 12.

"Forsa again rejected Ryanair's repeated offers to meet to resolve this dispute on Tuesday next", it said.

Ryanair said it has notified all customers affected and is providing refunds or alternative flights.