Ryanair Christmas strike may go ahead in Ireland, Italy and Portugal

Ryanair Christmas strike suspended after airline agrees to talks

The airline said Saturday that it was prepared to meet representatives from Impact

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.

However, the company cautioned that the unions must establish "committees of Ryanair pilots to deal with Ryanair issues".

The Irish Travel Agents Association has welcomed signs of progress towards breaking the deadlock between Ryanair and the IMPACT trade union over the threatened strike by some pilots next Wednesday.

The airline's chief operations officer, Peter Bellew, confirmed the planned meetings in a social media post on Saturday, saying "let's keep talking". However, it is unclear which day the two side will meet.

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


He said that talks with pilots' unions would start next week, or in January at the latest, in all of Ryanair's European hubs, but he also said the company was not prepared to extend talks to flight assistants, who also demand union recognition.

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

Pilots in Germany had voted to take industrial action some time during the Christmas period.

Ryanair has never recognised unions, but it said it would change this policy in order to avoid disruption to flights and passengers in Christmas week.

The carrier admitted it had "messed up" the planning of its pilots' holidays.

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