Ryanair, the Irish low-cost carrier, has entered into three days of mediation in an attempt to reach a mutually acceptable conclusion to the current dispute with Irish pilots and their unions, the Irish Airline Pilot’s Association (IALPA) – part of the Fórsa trade union. While negotiations continue, the union has confirmed that no further strike action will take place.
The first encounter took place on August 12, when Ryanair and IALPA met with Kieran Mulvey in an attempt to resolve the dispute which has led to five strikes at the airline over the last month.
Around 100 of Ryanair’s 350 Ireland-based pilots took part in last Friday’s dispute over promotions, transfers, leave and certain issues connected to seniority.
In combination with a series of strikes from pilots in Belgium, Germany, The Netherlands and Sweden, the result has seen Ryanair forced to cancel 396 of its planned 2,400 flights that day, affecting some 67,000 passengers.
Prior to yesterday’s meeting, IALPA spokesman Bernard Harbor predicted that the process would be challenging for both sides but that he welcomed third-party involvement. However, he also commented that matters had been complicated by the threat of redundancies at Ryanair after its board had approved a proposal to cut the airline’s Dublin fleet from October, with the potential loss or transfer of 300 jobs, including 100 pilots and 200 cabin crew.