Ryanair pilots in Ireland start first strike

Around 100 of Ryanair’s 350 Irish pilots balloted to strike for 24 hours to demand a more transparent system of pay, promotions and transfers. (Reuters)
Updated 12 July 2018
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Ryanair pilots in Ireland start first strike

DUBLIN: Pilots in Ryanair’s home country Ireland held a strike for the first time on Thursday as they demanded better conditions from Europe’s largest low-cost carrier, which is trying to stave off a wave of industrial action across Europe.
Around 100 of Ryanair’s 350 Irish pilots balloted to strike for 24 hours to demand a more transparent system of pay, promotions and transfers, aiming to limit what the FORSA/IALPA union says is excessive discretion management have over pilots’ careers. A union representative said more strikes were possible.
Pilots and cabin crew at Ryanair began to organize after a wave of cancelations at the airline in the second half 2017. In December, the airline gave in to growing pressure and recognized trade unions for the first time in its 32-year history.
But management have struggled to reach agreement with unions on new terms and conditions and the airline has been hit by industrial action in Germany and Portugal.
Cabin crew in four countries have announced plans to strike in July and several other pilot unions are considering industrial action to demand improved conditions, including contracts under local rather than Irish law.
The airline, which says its pilots have some of the best conditions in the low-cost sector, said it planned to cancel 30 of 290 flights from Ireland on Thursday.
Around two dozen Ryanair pilots picketed close to Dublin airport. The airline offered to pay for taxis or public parking for pilots working on Thursday so they could avoid the picket.


UAE property developers’ earnings give Gulf markets a boost

Updated 17 February 2019
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UAE property developers’ earnings give Gulf markets a boost

  • Real estate sector gets confidence boost
  • DAMAC gains despite 87 pct drop in Q4 net profits

DUBAI: Most stock markets in the Middle East closed higher on Sunday, reflecting a rally in global stock markets on Friday, and were also boosted by better-than-expected company results, particularly in real estate.

The Abu Dhabi index gained 0.7 percent and the Dubai index 0.6 percent, as two of the largest property developers in the United Arab Emirates posted positive fourth-quarter financial results last week that beat market expectations.

“The market is starting to rebuild confidence in earnings as a driver for sentiment,” said Arqaam Capital in a research note. “Sentiment on the UAE was very weak in 2018, specifically for real estate, on concerns over oversupply risk, pricing pressure that is leading to extended payment plans, and a rental yield compression that is continuing to fall,” Arqaam said.

“But Q4 numbers provided evidence that a few developers have emerged as winners (Emaar Co’s, Aldar) out of market consolidation.” Emaar Properties, Dubai’s largest listed developer, reported a 27 percent rise in fourth-quarter profit.

The stock rose 2 percent on Sunday. DAMAC Properties closed up 0.8 percent, despite having reported a nearly 60 percent fall in full-year profit and an 87 percent drop in fourth-quarter net profits.

In Abu Dhabi, Aldar Properties gained 3.6 percent. Last week, the developer reported a rise in fourth-quarter earnings and higher dividends for 2018. In other sectors, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank rose 0.5 percent after saying it had no merger and acquisition plans. This was in response to a Bloomberg report last week which said the bank was considering such options.

The Saudi index closed 0.4 percent down, in contrast to the rest of the region’s markets. Arab National Bank reported an increase in full- year net profit to 3.13 billion riyals ($834.62 million) from 3.03 billion riyals one year earlier.

The stock remained unchanged and this failed to give support to the banking sector. Alinma Bank < 1150.SE> and Al Rajhi Banking & Investment Corp. lost 0.3 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively.

In Egypt, where the main index gained 1.4 percent, Orascom Investment Holding, up 3.2 percent, was among the stocks attracting the highest trading volume. Shares in the company jumped last week after its chairman, Egyptian billionaire businessman Naguib Sawiris, said he saw possible investment opportunities in North Korea if a summit between its leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump later this month was successful.

SAUDI The index lost 0.4 pct to 8,592 points ARABIA DUBAI The index rose 0.6 pct to 2,550 points ABU DHABI The index rose 0.7 pct to 5,070 points QATAR The index gained 0.7 pct to 10,011 points EGYPT The index rose 1.4 pct to 15,199 points KUWAIT The index gainedd 0.1 pct to 5,427 points OMAN The index was down 0.8 pct at 4,077 points BAHRAIN

The index went up 0.6 pct to 1,381 points ($1 = 3.7502 riyals)