Ryanair offers to recognise unions in bid to avert Xmas strikes

The German share price index DAX board is seen at the stock exchange in Frankfurt

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

Ryanair says it is now demanding the threat of strikes is lifted from its customers - already inconvenienced by the company's rota blunders this autumn that led to the travel plans of 700,000 people being scrapped.

Europe's largest low-priced carrier offered on Friday to recognise pilot unions for the first time in its 32-year history in a last-minute attempt to avert its first-ever pilot strike at the start of the holiday season.

Update - 4.51pm: Ryanair have said that pilot unions in Ireland and Germany have agreed to meet them on Wednesday, December 20, to discuss union recognition.

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The announcement was made on Sunday night by the Impact trade union which also represents in this case Ialpa, the pilots' union.

While some unions agreed to suspend action, the Irish Air Line Pilots' Association wanted more clarification.

The Portuguese pilot union has requested a meeting and Ryanair has offered to meet them on Thursday December 21st.

However, the company cautioned that the unions must establish "committees of Ryanair pilots to deal with Ryanair issues".

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Confirmation that the meeting with Impact will now take place Tuesday in advance of the Wednesday deadline was confirmed by Ryanair on Saturday. Ryanair said: "We'll do all we can to minimise disruption".

In October, Mr O'Leary wrote to his airline's pilots to offer them better pay and conditions after Ryanair was forced to cancel thousands of flights.

Trade union IMPACT released a statement this evening declaring the suspension of the strike action.

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

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