Ryanair strike: Shares plunge as threat of Christmas week travel chaos remains

However, the strike planned by Ryanair pilots days before Christmas may still go ahead, despite the airline’s dramatic decision to recognise unions for the first time and personal reassurance from chief executive Michael O’Leary that the offer of recognition is genuine. 

Speaking yesterday, CEO Michael O’Leary said the radical U-turn was a bid to avoid travel chaos for customers during Christmas week.

Mr O’Leary spoke to the airline’s chief captains across its almost 90 bases.

During a conference call with the pilots, Mr O’Leary is understood to have said that the offer of union recognition from Ryanair today is genuine.

He also told pilots that the move will have a longer-term positive impact on the carrier.

Ryanair has sought a meeting with the Irish Airline Pilots’ Association (IALPA) on Wednesday, the day planned strike action is set to take place, and has asked the union to call off the strike.

However IMPACT trade union, to which IALPA is affiliated, has indicated that the strike will go ahead as planned if a meeting is not held with representatives of the airline before then.

One day of industrial action is planned for Wednesday December 20 and will mostly involved captains.

In a statement yesterday evening Ryanair said:

“The IMPACT union promised to call off the strike if Ryanair conceded recognition. They’ve gotten our offer of recognition in writing and we’re happy to meet them next week, which itself is the first act in recognising IALPA.

“The UK and Italian unions have already agreed to meetings with Ryanair and have called off the threatened strike in Italy.

“The sensible course of action is for IALPA to meet with Ryanair next Wednesday, but call off the unnecessary threats of disruption to the Christmas flights of thousands of customers.”

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