Dublin-based Ryanair has announced today that it would recognise pilot unions for the first time in its 32-year history in a bid to stop the first pilot strike in its history from taking place later in the day.
Earlier this week, 79 Ryanair pilots had said they would strike for a day on 20 December. The airline was also facing action by pilots in Italy, Germany and Portugal.
Ryanair has never recognised unions, but today said it would change this policy in order to avoid disruption to flights and passengers in Christmas week.
“Recognising unions will be a significant change for Ryanair, but we have delivered radical change before,” O’Leary said in a statement, adding: “We hope and expect that these structures can and will be agreed with our pilots early in the New Year.”
The airline has also written to unions in Ireland, the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain and Portugal inviting them for talks.