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Ryanair's First Strike Is Getting Worse as Costs Keep Climbing

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Ryanair Hit With Its Worst Strikes
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Ryanair Holdings Plc has been grappling with major strikes for the first time in its three-decade history. The disruption is headed for a new peak Friday with at least 400 flights lost across five nations as pilots ramp up a bid to wrest better contracts from a company defined by its penny-pinching culture.

Ryanair is Europe’s biggest low-cost airline thanks to the no-frills strategy of Michael O’Leary, its boss since 1994. Many of the demands being pursued by unions representing pilots and cabin crew -- from higher salaries and pensions to free drinking water -- would lift expenses, something Chief Operations Officer Peter Bellew says is unacceptable if it threatens the discount model.