Ryanair reaches agreement with Ireland-based pilots on strike

Xinhua
Europe's largest budget airline Ryanair announced on Thursday that it had reached an agreement with some of its Ireland-based pilots who have been on strikes since last month.
Xinhua

Europe's largest budget airline Ryanair announced on Thursday that it had reached an agreement with some of its Ireland-based pilots who have been on strikes since last month.

The agreement was signed after an overnight negotiation with the members of Forsa and the Irish Air Line Pilots' Association, two trade union bodies in Ireland which represent the pilots who have a dispute with Ryanair, said the announcement posted on Ryanair's website.

Ryanair said that the agreement is subject to the approval of both its board and all the members of the pilots who have participated in the strikes and that it will not submit the agreement to its board until after all the pilots involved in the dispute have voted on it.

Both parties involved in the negotiations have declined to disclose the contents of the agreement as a mediator of the talks suggested them to refrain from further comment until the pilots have concluded their balloting on the agreement.

Local media quoted unidentified sources as saying that one factor which has enabled both sides to reach an agreement is that Ryanair had agreed not to fire some of the pilots who have been involved in the strikes under a business restructuring plan which intends to cut its Ireland fleet by six planes and move them to Poland.

Disputes between Ryanair and some of its pilots mainly centered around base transfers, promotions, annual leaves and other issues which pilots demanded that they should be handled on a seniority-based system. The pilots decided to resort to strikes after the Ryanair management had refused their demands.

So far the pilots have launched five one-day strikes since the first one held on July 12, resulting in a total number of 110 flight cancellations which had affected nearly 20,000 passengers. Ryanair said that only about 25 percent of its 350 pilots based in Ireland have taken part in the strikes.

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