Wednesday 22 May 2019

Ryanair strike fear eases with Portugal pilot deal

Deals: Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary who is soon to become group CEO
Deals: Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary who is soon to become group CEO
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Ryanair pilots in Portugal have voted in favour of a collective-labour agreement that covers the next four years. The move reduces the risks of summer strikes for the carrier.

Ever since it decided more than a year ago that it would recognise trade unions, Ryanair has been negotiating collective-labour agreements across Europe with pilots and cabin crew.

Last summer, the airline was hit by 24-hour stoppages by cabin crew in Portugal, but insisted at the time that the industrial action had a limited impact on its operations.

The cabin crew union in Portugal also claimed at the time that Ryanair management had instructed its cabin crew members outside the country that they would be in breach of their employment contracts if they refused to operate Portuguese flights.

The agreement just signed with directly-employed Ryanair pilots in Portugal covers pay and conditions for the next four years. Last October, Ryanair signed an initial deal with its pilots in Portugal that addressed issues such as home bases and seniority.

Last month, the airline also reached an agreement in relation to about 1,100 cabin crew in Germany.

Trade union Ver.di said that directly-employed and contractor Ryanair cabin crew in the country will receive €600 more in basic pay every month.

Ryanair has the lowest unit cost of any airline in Europe. However, it noted in its third-quarter results -released in February - that its non-fuel unit costs rose 6pc in the period as a result of higher staff costs, and other costs such as payments made to passengers under the EU261 directive for delayed or cancelled flights, as it shouldered the cost of air traffic control issues.

Ryanair said yesterday that its passenger traffic rose 5pc last month to 10.5 million. Its Lauda unit carried 400,000.

Irish Independent

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