Ryanair Christmas strike may go ahead in Ireland, Italy and Portugal

Ryanair Christmas strike may go ahead in Ireland, Italy and Portugal

Ryanair Christmas strike may go ahead in Ireland, Italy and Portugal

The budget airline has agreed to meet with pilot's union for the first time ever, but passengers may still face disruption.

Ryanair on Friday announced 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.

Germany's pilots' union, VC, welcomed Ryanair's willingness to recognise it as the organisation representing the airline's pilots based in that country.

Trade unions did not immediately call off the December 20 strikes in response to the news although they did leave the door open for the industrial action to be cancelled, pending talks. In particular pilots and ground crew in Italy were due to take action with their short strike later on Friday, to be followed by a 24-hour walkout by pilots in Ireland and Portugal five days before Christmas.

While Ryanair says: "The IMPACT union promised to call off the strike if Ryanair conceded recognition".

"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".

The airline said earlier this week that it would not deal with or recognize the unions. Many industry observers said the cancellations resulted from a basic lack of pilots.

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