Europe

Ryanair pilots 'reach deal to end strike'

Ryanair plane Image copyright Reuters

Ryanair and pilots' union Fórsa have reached an agreement, the trade union has said.

It comes after a 22-hour session which began on Wednesday morning and ended at 07:30 BST on Thursday.

The proposed agreement will now be balloted by members with the union recommending that it is accepted.

Fórsa say they have been asked by talks facilitator Kieran Mulvey not to make any further comment while the ballot takes place.

It is understood that Ryanair is expected to remove the threat of job losses if the deal with pilots is ratified.

Last month, the airline issued 90-day protective notices to 100 pilots and 200 cabin crew based at Dublin airport, partly blaming the effect of strikes.

It said it would cut the Dublin fleet by six planes and move them to Poland.

However, as part of the agreement reached overnight, it is understood the airline's negotiators will recommend to the board that the protective notices are removed if the deal is passed.

That ballot by the pilots involved is expected to take place in two weeks' time.

It is also understood that the deal includes an overall agreement and a specific piece on base transfers and command upgrades, a key issue in the dispute.

This the first collective agreement the airline has reached in Ireland, since it agreed to recognise unions last year.

The dispute between the airline and some of its Irish pilots centred around base transfers, promotions, annual leave and other issues.

It has resulted in five days of strike action by about 100 of Ryanair's 350 Irish-based pilots.

Walk-outs

Many Ryanair staff have been on strike across Europe.

Earlier this month, there was a 24-hour walk-out involving staff in Germany, Sweden, Ireland, Belgium and the Netherlands.

About 50,000 passengers were understood to be involved in the cancellation of 400 flights.

Ryanair has cancelled 600 flights that were due to fly this week but says the majority of European customers are not affected.

In July, 300 Ryanair flights were cancelled when cabin crews in Belgium, Portugal and Spain went on strike for 48 hours.

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