EUROPE’S biggest low-cost airline, Ryanair, has agreed to recognise the British Airline Pilots’ Association to represent airline’s 600 employed pilots based in the UK.
Previously Ryanair refused to recognise or negotiate with the trade union.
The turnaround comes after last year’s fiasco when a mess up over holiday rosters and pilot shortages forced the airline to cancel around 20,000 flights through the winter.
The issue also triggered calls for pay rises for pilots amid growing discontent about the airline’s treatment of flight crew.
Speaking today, BALPA’s general secretary. Brian Strutton, said, “I want to pay tribute to the Ryanair pilots who have themselves brought about this change in attitude from Ryanair management.
“I also want to thank Ryanair management for their professional attitude throughout this short process.
“While we were initially sceptical about Ryanair’s sincerity in offering recognition to us and other unions, our conversations and meetings with them have shown that they are genuine in wanting a constructive trade union relationship.”
Ryanair’s Eddie Wilson added, “This agreement validates the decision of Ryanair’s Board in December to recognise unions, and the fact that we have delivered pay rises of up to 20 percent and union recognition for our pilots in our largest market, shows how serious Ryanair is about working constructively with unions that are willing to work constructively with us.