Ryanair pilots in Germany are to strike for 24 hours on Wednesday over the failure to make progress in talks with the airline.

Their union, Vereinigung Cockpit (VC), accused management of failing to improve an offer to the pilots, and of refusing to discuss arbitration.

Ryanair employs around 400 pilots in Germany and a majority of them are directly employed and will participate in the stoppage.

It is understood the company was only notified of the strike this evening.

As yet it is unclear how many flights and customers will be affected.

Meanwhile, Ryanair earlier announced that it is banning the media from its Annual General Meeting on Thursday 20 September.

In a statement issued this afternoon, the airline stated: "Ryanair today advised all relevant financial media that at its AGM next week, there will be no press invited or admitted to the meeting and no press briefing afterwards."

It went on to say: "We wish to allow shareholders to discuss all matters freely with the Board without these discussions being distorted for PR purposes."

Last year's AGM took place just days after the airline announced the cancellation of thousands of flights due to mismanagement of pilots' annual leave.

The cancellations, for which Chief Executive Michael O'Leary took full responsibility, cost the airline an estimated €25 million, and disrupted the travel plans of over 700,000 passengers.

In a press briefing after the AGM, Mr O'Leary played down the difficulty of the work done by pilots, in comments which were seen as exacerbating an already tense situation.

The resulting chaos led to the threat of a pilots' strike just before Christmas, and to the airline's decision to recognise unions.

Mr O'Leary subsequently waived a bonus worth an estimated €950,000 over the pilots’ rostering row, bringing his remuneration last year down to €2.3 million.

The AGM is due to take place on 20 September at 9am at the City North Hotel and Conference Centre in Gormanstown Co Meath.