Ryanair pilots suspend planned pre-Christmas strike

The chief executive of Ryanair said that the airline would recognise unions in order to avoid Christmas strikes

The chief executive of Ryanair said that the airline would recognise unions in order to avoid Christmas strikesNIALL CARSON PA

Friday's announcement also led to Italian pilots' union Anpac and Portuguese union SPAC calling off strike action due to take place next week.

Ryanair has offered to meet with IMPACT on Tuesday, and has called on the unions to call off threatened action next week.

Impact initially responded today by saying it would not suspend the walk-out until after meeting Ryanair, but announced in a statement this evening that the strike was off.

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

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Ryanair said on Friday it would recognise unions but IMPACT says further clarifications are needed.

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.

There could be a breakthrough in attempts to avert Ryanair's first ever pilots' strike.

In a statement IMPACT said it is available to meet with management today or anytime over the weekend.

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It is the only time airline boss Michael O'Leary has extended such an invite to union leaders in the 32 years the company has been in business.

Ryanair has sought a meeting with the Irish Airline Pilots' Association on that day, according to The Independent.

"Christmas flights are very important to our customers and we wish to remove any worry or concern that they may be disrupted by pilot industrial action next week", he said.

Britain's Balpa union said on Saturday said it had accepted Ryanair's offer to represent British-based pilots, but only if the TUC federation of British trade unions was allowed to attend future talks.

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