German pilots’ union calls strike against Ryanair

A Ryanair plane prepares to land. (Reuters/Phil Noble)
Updated 12 December 2017
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German pilots’ union calls strike against Ryanair

FRANKFURT: Germany’s powerful pilots’ union said Tuesday members would strike at low-cost carrier Ryanair for better pay and conditions, although they insisted they would not disrupt flights over the Christmas holiday.
Pilots “announce a strike at Ryanair,” the Cockpit union posted on Twitter.
They aim “to force the start of talks to create employment and pay conditions for Ryanair pilots in line with the market,” the union said in a statement.
“From this moment on strike measures could happen at any time,” except during the Christmas period between December 23 and 26, the statement said.
Ryanair had a “last chance” to avoid strikes by immediately coming to the negotiating table, union president Ilja Schulz said.
Unions have long complained that no-frills Ryanair does not offer pilots pay and conditions up to standards elsewhere in the aviation industry.
German prosecutors searched offices belonging to the carrier at six airports last year, part of an investigation into possible tax evasion and withholding salaries against two British temp agencies that supply the Irish airline with self-employed pilots.
In its statement, Cockpit claimed pilots were leaving the airline “in droves” for the better conditions offered by other carriers, leaving Ryanair with a shortage of aircrew.
Italian pilots for the Irish carrier have already set dates for strike action, while Irish and Portuguese aviators have announced unspecified industrial action.
Ryanair said last week that it would “ignore” the Italian pilots’ move, saying its staff rarely heeded calls to walk out.
The airline could not immediately be reached for comment about the German strike plans.
With its more than 9,400 members in Germany, Cockpit was able to squeeze a pay, pensions and jobs deal out of mammoth carrier Lufthansa earlier this year, after repeated walkouts between 2014 and 2016 cost the group around 450 million euros ($530 million).


Tesla launches new $45,000 Model 3 electric car

Updated 16 min 57 sec ago
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Tesla launches new $45,000 Model 3 electric car

  • The new version has a delivery period of six to 10 weeks
  • The tax credit for Tesla cars will drop by half on January 1

BENGALURU: Tesla on Thursday introduced a new $45,000 version of its Model 3 sedan on its website, launching the car as US tax breaks for Tesla cars are about to decrease.
According to the website, the rear-wheel-drive model has a “mid-range” battery, a range of 260 miles, 50 miles less than the long-range battery that the more expensive Model 3 is equipped with.
The new version has a delivery period of six to 10 weeks, according to the website, which would customers eligible for the current $7,500 US tax credit if they take delivery by the end of the year. The tax credit for Tesla cars will drop by half on Jan. 1.
Although Tesla has promised a base-level version of the Model 3 priced at $35,000, so far it has only produced higher-cost versions starting at about $49,000. Tesla has said that it would not manufacture the base-level version of the Model 3 this year.
Adding the mid-priced version of the Model 3 appears to be a strategic way to lure possible buyers who had been waiting for the lower-priced version. It is not clear how many of the more than 400,000 reservations for the Model 3 are for the base models.