Ryanair and unions "agree to meet on Wednesday"

Ryanair chief Michael O’Leary

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.

RYANAIR will announce "contingency plans" for passengers facing a 24-hour strike in the run-up to Christmas tomorrow.

Ryanair has said it is prepared to recognise pilot unions as it seeks to avoid strike disruption over the Christmas period.

The airline wants to meet representatives on Tuesday and the union says it won't know if the strike will go ahead until after this meeting.

An upcoming Ryanair pilot strike has been suspended after the airline agreed to talks - much to the relief of those flying overseas for Christmas.

The Impact trade union is looking for further reassurances from the airline before calling off its planned walkout on Wednesday.

The union acknowledged the principled determination of Ryanair pilots, which it said had made this breakthrough possible, and said it looked forward to establishing a positive relationship with Ryanair company management.

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Mr Harbor said IMPACT had spoken to senior Ryanair management, telling them they were ready to meet them at any time.

"We're certainly happy to meet Ryanair on Tuesday", he said.

German union Vereinigung Cockpit said the onus was now on Ryanair to "prove that this announcement is serious".

O'Leary noted that the move would mark a significant change for the airline.

But, in a statement released on Sunday evening, the union said it is available to meet sooner.

The carrier admitted it had "messed up" the planning of its pilots' holidays.

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