Ryanair has formally recognised BALPA, the pilots union and is in the process of setting up a protocol whereby the union will negotiate with Ryanair management over all employment and industrial relations issues relating to pilots, first officers etc., writes Julian Bray, aviation expert.
The move is seen as a major breakthrough and a stark realisation by the airline, that the business has changed with budget priced new entrants effectively carving out markets at the expense of Ryanair.
This new development will hopefully swiftly bring some order to the so far difficult relationships, the two sides have experienced over the years, in the process trigger a pay rise for UK based pilots, a rise which has been held up whilst the airline/union negotiations are concluded.
Ryanair has already reached agreement with some unions in other parts of the world. This new 'barnstorming' agreement with British Airline Pilots’ Association [BALPA] completes the circle.
Europe’s biggest budget airline was forced last year to recognise unions in order to avoid a Christmas strike, after it had to cancel 20,000 flights earlier in the year due to a shortage of standby pilots and scheduling issues. The effects are still being experienced as programmed scheduled fight cancellations are due to continue until March.
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