Union 'not in a position' to cancel strike by Ryanair pilots

The German share price index DAX board is seen at the stock exchange in Frankfurt

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.

The union asked management to release its Ryanair pilot representatives to prepare for and attend the meeting.

"It has invited each of them to talks to recognise these unions and the representative bodies for pilots in Ryanair in each of these countries", said Mr Byrne.

In a statement IMPACT said it is available to meet with management today or anytime over the weekend.

Ryanair said on Friday it would recognise unions but IMPACT says further clarifications are needed.

The suspended industrial action had been planned with the support of 94 percent of pilots directly employed by Ryanair in Ireland.

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If the strike had gone ahead it would have seen the majority of the firm's captains in Ireland walk out.

Ryanair said it would recognise unions for the first time as it also faces challenges from staff in Germany, Portugal, Britain and Italy.

Other sources suggested pressure from shareholders resulted in the dramatic decision to agree to union recognition.

Europe's largest low-priced carrier offered on Friday to recognise pilot unions for the first time in its 32-year history in a last-minute attempt to avert its first-ever pilot strike at the start of the holiday season.

Ryanair pilots have suspended a pre-Christmas one-day strike, union bosses have announced.

Bellew, whose predecessor resigned in October amid flight cancellations chaos forced by pilot shortages, said the budget airline opted for "dialogue" because it did not "want to put at risk [its] customers' Christmas".

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