A Ryanair pilot called for police assistance when a group of Danish demonstrators blocked the carrier’s plane at Copenhagen Airport, preventing it from taking off for a planned trip to Dublin yesterday afternoon.
Passengers and crew were stranded for three hours while about 60 people protested against Ryanair’s refusal to accept Danish collective agreements for pilot and flight attendants.
Police told the staff to leave, but the protesters, waving Danish flags, held their positions until 17:30.
Eventually, the crowd voluntarily dispersed, and the aircraft was able to refuel and roll down the runway one hour later.
While some demonstrators were blocking the plane, others protested inside the terminal with duct tapes over their mouths and signs saying "Ryanair colleagues, break the silence, we have freedom to talk about our jobs."
The budget carrier called the protest an ‘unlawful blockade’ carried out by ‘non-Ryanair individuals’ and asked Danish authorities to prevent it from happening again.
Flying under Irish employment rules
In October, the Dublin-based company announced it would be flying from Copenhagen to Dublin, London, Warsaw and Milan under Irish employment rules instead of the more generous Danish labour laws.
The Danish Confederation of Trade Unions has distanced itself from the protests, stating that it has taken legal action against the low-cost airline company.
A ruling next week could lead to more demonstrations.