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Ryanair cuts number of flight cancellations due Friday

media Ryanair is cancelling some cancellations dpa/AFP

Ryanair will axe 150 flights scheduled Friday when cabin crews strike across Europe, the Irish no-frills airline said Wednesday, lowering its previous estimate of 190.

The Dublin-based carrier said in a statement that it would now cancel six percent of flights amid the walk-outs in Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain.

Germany's Verdi union said it would announce on Thursday evening whether German Ryanair crew would join Friday's walkout.

"The number of flights cancelled this Friday, 28 September, has been reduced to 150 from... 190 as the vast majority of our people will work as normal," Ryanair said in the brief statement.

The vast majority of its 2,400 flights on Friday "will be unaffected by these unnecessary strikes and will operate as scheduled", it added.

All affected customers have meanwhile received email and text message notifications on Tuesday to advise them of cancellations and options, Ryanair said.

"We sincerely apologise to those customers affected by these unnecessary strikes on Friday which we have done our utmost to avoid," it noted.

Trade unions have claimed that Friday's 24-hour stoppage will be the biggest strike in the Irish carrier's history.

Ryanair staff have been seeking higher wages and an end to the practice whereby many have been working as independent contractors without the benefits of staff employees.

Another key complaint of workers based in countries other than Ireland is the fact that Ryanair has been employing them under Irish legislation.

Staff claim this creates huge insecurity for them, blocking their access to state benefits in their country.

Last month, Ryanair pilots across Europe staged a coordinated 24-hour strike to push their demands for better pay and conditions, plunging tens of thousands of passengers into transport chaos at the peak of the busy summer season.

In July, strikes by cockpit and cabin crew disrupted 600 flights in Belgium, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain, affecting 100,000 travellers.

This week meanwhile, Ryanair signed deals with cabin crew unions in Italy to provide employment contracts under Italian law.

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