Ryanair may reverse decision to move aircraft from Dublin this winter

Irish-based pilots accept collective agreement with company

Around 100 members of Ryanair’s 350 Irish-based pilots have been in dispute with the company over base transfers, promotions, leave and other issues since early July. Photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Ryanair may reverse a decision to move aircraft from Dublin this winter with the possible loss or transfer of 300 jobs after Irish-based pilots voted unanimously for a deal ending a dispute with the airline.

About 100 of Ryanair’s 350 Irish-based pilots were in dispute with the company over base transfers, promotions, leave and other issues since early July.

They voted unanimously to accept a deal brokered between the Irish Airline Pilots' Association (Ialpa) – part of trade union Fórsa – and Ryanair during talks led by independent mediator Kieran Mulvey.


The result of the ballot, which began on August 24th, lifts any threat of further strikes at the airline’s Irish operations.


Pilots held five one-day stoppages at the airline through July and early last month as the row continued.

Ryanair welcomed the vote and indicated that its board could reverse a decision to move craft from Dublin Airport to its Polish charter business, Ryanair Sun, in October.

This could have could have resulted in the lay off, or transfer to Poland, of 100 pilots and 200 cabin crew.

“We will now bring this agreement to the board and will ask them reconsider their decision to rebase six aircraft away from Dublin this winter,” the airline said.

“We expect that the board will meet to discuss this welcome development in the coming days.”

Mr Mulvey said that he expected Ryanair’s board to “lift and withdraw” letters of protective notices issued to airline employees.

Announcing the move last month, the carrier said that its board decided to transfer craft to Poland as Ryanair Sun was trading strongly while strikes had weakened the the Irish operation’s performance.

Confirming the ballot’s result, Ialpa said the vote showed that 100 per cent of members believed that the proposal was a first step to providing transparency and fairness while allowing Ryanair to hire and keep pilots.


Spokesman captain John May said Ialpa members fully respected Ryanair's low-cost business approach but no longer accepted the company's "highly problematic" employment model.

“After decades of declining terms and conditions pilots in Ryanair have now firmly found a unified voice,” he said.

“When pilots are treated fairly and transparently, they will be motivated to contribute to their airline’s success, stay at the company and make their career with that airline.”

The deal accepted by the pilots covers base transfers and other issues related to seniority.

Captain May thanked Mr Mulvey, Fórsa and the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) general secretary, Patricia King and her colleague, Liam Berney, for their part in the mediation.

Mr Mulvey called the acceptance of the agreement a landmark. The deal gives him a continued “oversight” role.

“ I hope the parties use this process to build further upon this initial collective agreement for both the commercial success of Ryanair and the successful resolution through this process of matters of concern to pilot grades,” he said.

Pilots have accepted a deal that sets out how seniority at Ryanair is determined.


This, in turn, will determine issues such as base transfer and allocation, promotion to captain, and will be one consideration in allocating annual leave.

Ms King said that the vote marked the beginning of normal relations between Ryanair, its staff and their unions.

Bloomberg reported yesterday that shareholder advisors Glass Lewis, the International Transport Workers' Federation and the European Transport Workers' Federation were separately lobbying against the re-election of Ryanair chairman, David Bonderman.

The 75-year-old US billionaire, a supporter of chief executive, Michael O’Leary, is up for re-election at the company’s annual general meeting on September 20th.

Ryanair said that investors appreciated Mr Bonderman’s contribution and would back his re-election in two weeks. - Additional reporting: Bloomberg

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O’Halloran covers energy, construction, insolvency, and gaming and betting, among other areas