Ryanair to Recognize Pilot Unions to Avert Christmas Strike


Europe's largest low-priced carrier offered on Friday to recognise pilot unions for the first time in its 32-year history in a last-minute attempt to avert its first-ever pilot strike at the start of the holiday season.

Impact, the Irish pilots' union, said it had received Ryanair's letter on Friday morning.

Ryanair said on Friday it had written to pilot unions in Ireland (Other OTC: IRLD - news), the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain and Portugal in a bid to smooth turbulent industrial relations by offering talks on officially recognising the unions for the first time.

It will bring certainty to Ryanair passengers travel plans over the Christmas period.

Update - 4.51pm: Ryanair have said that pilot unions in Ireland and Germany have agreed to meet them on Wednesday, December 20, to discuss union recognition.

While some unions agreed to suspend action, the Irish Air Line Pilots' Association wanted more clarification.

The British and Italian pilots' unions have agreed to meet in early January.

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So far there has been no response from unions to say if that is enough.

The airline's chief operations officer, Peter Bellew, confirmed the planned meetings in a social media post on Saturday, saying "let's keep talking".

"Ryanair has also offered to meet Impact/IALPA, and their Ryanair pilot committee on Tuesday, December 19, if that would suit them better", read the statement.

Ryanair pilots have called off a planned strike action due to take place on Wednesday. Ryanair said: "We'll do all we can to minimise disruption".

O'Leary noted that the move would mark a significant change for the airline.

The union asked management to release its Ryanair pilot representatives to prepare for and attend the meeting.