Ryanair urges pilots to halt strike

One of Ryanair's Boeing 737-800s takes off

Ryanair and the pilots union IALPA are locked in a stand off, just days ahead of Wednesday's planned strike.

The company had previously insisted it could not meet union representatives, to discuss the issue of recognition, until Wednesday.

Trade union Impact said the industrial action will go ahead unless management talk to them before December 20.

In its statement this afternoon, the airline said: "Ryanair has again called on IMPACT/ IALPA to cancel the threatened industrial action on Wednesday Dec 20 (as the Italian and German unions have already done) which is causing unnecessary concern and worry for thousands of Ryanair customers travelling home during Christmas week".

The low-priced airline's refusal to recognise unions was at the heart of the model that transformed the small Irish regional airline into Europe's largest carrier by passenger numbers.

Ryanair has stated that they will only be able to meet on the 20th, the same day as the planned strike and have remained firm, saying that they cannot meet before the 20th.

Mr Harbor said IMPACT had spoken to senior Ryanair management, telling them they were ready to meet them at any time.

Ryanair said yesterday that after agreeing to recognise unions, it would not be able to meet IMPACT representatives until Wedneday.

Mr O'Leary spoke to the airline's chief captains across its nearly 90 bases.

The Associazione Nazionale Professionale Aviazione Civile (ANPAC) called Ryanair's move "a very important first step", resulting in ANPAC suspending a first walk-out by Ryanair pilots that had been planned for between 1200 and 1600 GMT.

Liz Blackshaw, International Transport Workers' Federation campaigns director, confirmed on Friday the organisation had written to Ryanair seeking recognition for unions representing cabin crew.

"It's now up to Ryanair to prove the seriousness of this announcement", Ilja Schulz, VC president, said on Friday. "If we get an approach we will consider this", he said.

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