Ryanair today announced cancellations on 288 flight routes across Europe ahead of the announced TCP cabin crew strikes called in Spain, Belgium and Portugal to demand official recognition for their unions, set for this coming July 25 and 26.

In total 400 flights in Spain will be canceled, 24% of the total they fly daily, which will affect up to 50,000 passengers who had planned to travel to or from Spain on either of those two days, according to the Irish low cost airline.

The airline has contacted those 50,000 thought to be affected by email and text message to notify them seven days in advance that their flights are to be canceled. The company has offered all affected customers the opportunity to move to another flight that will be operated in the seven days either before or after July 25 and 26. As an alternative, passengers can also demand a full refund of their tickets.

The airline, in this the first official labour dispute it has faced in Spain, have confirmed that the strike could affect up to 200 of the more than 830 daily flights that Ryanair operates to and from Spain (24% of the total); up to 50 of the more than 180 daily flights that Ryanair operates to and from Portugal (27%); up to 50 of the more than 160 daily flights that Ryanair operates to and from Belgium (31%). And in total, up to 300 of the more than 2,400 daily flights that Ryanair operates in Europe could be affected (12%)

Ryanair say that they have added extra personnel to their customer services department, which is notoriously easy to contact, to help in the management of reimbursement or relocation of affected customers over the next seven days.

The airline added that any Ryanair customer traveling to or from Belgium, Portugal or Spain next Wednesday or Thursday who has not received an email or text message today, can expect that their flight will operate normally and the customers must check in following the usual procedure.

According to the company’s own calculations, 88% of Ryanair’s customers in Europe will not be affected, although Spanish unions calling for the strike have cast serious doubt on these figures.

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