Low-cost carrier has agreed to recognise pilots unions for the first time in a bid to stop services being disrupted by a pre-Christmas strike.
Ryanair said it had written to pilot unions in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Italy, Spain and Portugal to invite them to take part in talks to recognise the unions in each country as the “representative body for pilots in Ryanair”.
The carrier has previously had a policy of not recognising pilot unions but has been forced to change this stance due to the threat of a 24-hour strike by pilots next Wednesday (December 20).
But the airline said that it would only accept union recognition if the unions created committees made up of entirely of Ryanair pilots to deal with the airline’s issues.
Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary said: “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.
“If the best way to achieve this is to talk to our pilots through a recognised union process, then we are prepared to do so, and we have written today to these unions inviting them to talks to recognise them and calling on them to cancel the threatened industrial action planned for Christmas week.
“Recognising unions will be a significant change for Ryanair, but we have delivered radical change before.”