Ryanair pilots' Christmas strike suspended for last-minute talks sparking relief for passengers

Ryanair pilots' Christmas strike suspended for last-minute talks sparking relief for passengers

The airline said that it is now prepared to meet union representatives on Tuesday in a bid to avert industrial action, after initially saying it could only meet them on Wednesday.

Today Impact said it was ready to meet Ryanair at any time.

Union spokesman Niall Shanahan has welcomed the progress, but said that they can not call off the strike just yet.

IMPACT said yesterday that the work stoppage would go ahead unless Ryanair management arranged a meeting before it to discuss the issue.

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

However, the strike has not been officially called off and uncertainty remains for passengers booked on certain flights during one of the busiest travel periods of the year.

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"Christmas flights are very important to our customers and we wish to remove any worry or concern that they may be disrupted by pilot industrial action next week", Ryanair Chief Executive Michael O'Leary said in a written statement.

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

He stressed it was vital that both the company and the union meet so the next phase in resolving the dispute could be agreed.

However, Impact/Ialpa said it would not call off the action unless Ryanair met union representatives before the proposed strike was due to take place.

In Spain, there are no strikes planned for pilots, but ground staff unions have not ruled out action on December 30.

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

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