LONDON -- Around 50,000 passengers across Europe are expected to be affected this weekend as Ryanair is forced to cancel almost 400 flights due to a 24-hour walkout by staff in five European countries over a dispute about pay and working conditions.
Ryanair employees are on strike in Germany, Ireland, Sweden, Belgium and the Netherlands, forcing the firm to cancel 394 flights.
The Irish airline, which last year carried its one billionth passenger, is Europe's biggest low-cost carrier.
It said in a statement that the action was "unjustified" and "regrettable", but said that 85 percent of its flights would still be operated, and said that it had done all that it could to prevent the dispute escalating into industrial action, adding that the "majority of customers affected have already been re-accommodated on another Ryanair flight."
But some people took to Twitter to complain at how Ryanair handled the debacle after their flights were canceled.
Unions representing Ryanair staff said they want work rules to be governed by the laws of countries where employees are based, not the laws in Ireland where Ryanair is headquartered.
The action is the latest in a series of disagreements between Ryanair management and staff after the firm recognized its employee unions in late 2017 and entered into negotiations.
In July, around 300 flights were cancelled in similar strikes in Portugal, Spain and Belgium.