Strike action is going ahead as planned today after Ryanair lost its High Court bid to force its pilots to take to the skies.

A judge sitting in London rejected an urgent application yesterday by the airline for an injunction against the British Airline Pilots' Association (Balpa).

Following the court victory, Balpa said it had offered to reopen talks with Ryanair in a last ditch attempt to avoid industrial action.

But the union said the airline had "rejected the offer out of hand" and that the strikes would go ahead as planned today and tomorrow.

Ryanair has said it would aim to minimise disruption for passengers and would run its "full schedule of flights".

However, it said it could not rule out some delays.

A second round of strikes is planned between September 2nd and 4th.

Just a few hours before the judgment in London, Ryanair won a similar legal move at the High Court in Dublin, meaning flights departing from Irish airports will operate as normal.

The airline urged the Forsa union, and what it described as "this small minority of very well paid Irish pilots" to resume mediation.