ITAA welcome proposed Tuesday talks over pilot strike

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

It was announced earlier today that next week's strike action would go ahead unless Ryanair management arranged to meet with IMPACT ahead of Wednesday's strike action.

"We're certainly happy to meet Ryanair on Tuesday", he said.

The Irish Travel Agents Association has welcomed signs of progress towards breaking the deadlock between Ryanair and the IMPACT trade union over the threatened strike by some pilots next Wednesday.

"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", Ryanair Chief Executive Michael O'Leary said in a written statement.

The carrier has agreed to recognise unions for the first time.

An upcoming Ryanair pilot strike has been suspended after the airline agreed to talks - much to the relief of those flying overseas for Christmas.

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.

Pilots in Germany have voted to take industrial action during the Christmas period and German union Vereinigung Cockpit said the onus was now on Ryanair to "prove that this announcement is serious".

"Ryanair has also offered to meet IMPACT/IALPA and their Ryanair pilot committee on Tuesday 19 December if that would suit them better", added the statement.

Impact, the Irish pilots' union, said it had received Ryanair's letter on Friday morning.

In Spain, there are no strikes planned for pilots but ground staff unions have not ruled out action on 30 December.

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