Ryanair pilots' Christmas strike suspended for last-minute talks sparking relief for passengers

Chelsea West
December 18, 2017

On Saturday night, Ryanair offered to meet on Tuesday, but Impact refused to budge.

Ryanair has agreed to recognise pilots' unions in an attempt to avert Christmas strikes in a "significant change" from its long-standing position.

It has asked the airline to release its pilot representatives so they can prepare for and attend the meeting.

Ryanair says it is now demanding the threat of strikes is lifted from its customers - already inconvenienced by the company's rota blunders this autumn that led to the travel plans of 700,000 people being scrapped.

During a conference call with the pilots, Mr O'Leary is understood to have said that the offer of union recognition from Ryanair today is genuine.

The pilots had backed industrial action by a margin of 94 per cent to six per cent in secret ballots.

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It has also called on the unions to call off the December 20 strike.

If the strike had gone ahead it would have seen the majority of the firm's captains in Ireland walk out.

The Impact trade union is looking for further reassurances from the airline before calling off its planned walkout on Wednesday.

Pilots in Germany have voted to take industrial action during the Christmas period and German union Vereinigung Cockpit said the onus was now on Ryanair to "prove that this announcement is serious".

In Spain, there are no strikes planned for pilots but ground staff unions have not ruled out action on 30 December.

Ryanair, Europe's second-largest airline by passenger numbers, has been forced to cancel 20,000 flights through to March because of pilot scheduling problems stretching back to September.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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