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Ryanair Thanks the Mayor of Copenhagen for His Official Ban

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After facing accusations of “social dumping” from the Lord Major of Copenhagen, Frank Jensen, Ryanair launched a “Thanks Frank!”campaign on four of its Copenhagen routes to Dublin, London, Milan, Warsaw.

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The promotion made seats available from just 69DKK (just over $10/£6/€9) for travel in June. The airline says it is: “ensuring the 45,000 municipal workers banned by Frank from flying Ryanair can enjoy a well earned break.”

This promotion, which expires on 25 May, follows what Ryanair says is a record rise in bookings after the Major expressly banned municipal workers from flying with Ryanair on official business.

Jensen told Danish national newspaper, the Berlingske: “We require all of those who deliver services to the municipality, including those who would sell us plane tickets, to offer their employees proper salaries and working conditions.”

This is part of ongoing backlash against the airline since it increased services at Copenhagen Airport. Some labor groups have expressed concerns that Ryanair’s salaries are inadequate, compared to the wages earned by workers in Denmark. Ryanair has addressed these allegations repeatedly, including now as part of its “Thanks Frank!” campaign.

“Ryanair is celebrating a record week in Denmark with bookings up 45%, thanks to all of the free publicity generated by Mayor Frank Jensen. We have also received over 100 applications from Danish pilots wanting to join Ryanair and earn salaries of over 1.1m DKK per annum,” says Robin Kiely, Head of Communications, Ryanair. At the present exchange rate, 1.1m DKK is over $160,000/£100,000/€140,000. Of the special “Thanks Frank!” fares, Kiely said: “Customers should book them quick, before Frank bans them!”

Not everyone in Denmark agrees with Jensen’s strong stance against the Low-Cost Carrier. Conservative, Rasmus Jarlov, told the Berlingske: “It’s strange to see Frank Jensen throw himself so violently into the conflict between Ryanair and the unions. It seems inappropriate and out of touch with the Social Democrats normal rhetoric.”

The Berlingske indicates that there are concerns that this stance could affect the purchasing terms with all of the Kommune’s vendors.

“With Frank Jensen’s Ryanair travel ban, I expect that all public procurement, in all stages, will be conducted correspondingly,” tweeted Jakob Engel-Schmidt, representative of the Left party. “If he doesn’t try to ensure that all suppliers to the municipality have such agreements, one could rightly call him a populist and opportunist.”

Overall, the labor situation between airlines and labor unions in Scandinavia have been choppy, as long-established terms for wages and benefits are revised to fall in line with modern competition.

SAS entered into a new collaborative agreement with its Swedish pilots union SPF, on 21 May, after making preparations for a strike should the negotiations break down.

“It is pleasing that we have entered into a new agreement and with that avoid a strike in Sweden. We are now doing everything we can for customers and serve them in the way they expect. I value the experienced and skilled pilots we have at SAS and it is therefore we will continue to have collective bargain agreements according to the Scandinavian model,” said, Rickard Gustafson, President and CEO of SAS. This followed a breakdown of negotiations with Norwegian pilots union NSF, which led to a strike on 21 May.

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