January 30, 2018 / 7:33 AM / a year ago

Ryanair agrees to recognise British pilots union

LONDON, Jan 30 (Reuters) - Irish budget airline Ryanair has recognised the British Airline Pilots’ Association, the trade union said on Tuesday, as it moves to recognise pilot associations in Europe for the first time.

Europe’s top budget airline Ryanair last year decided to recognise unions for the first time in its 32-year history in order to avoid a Christmas strike, after it was forced to cancel 20,000 flights earlier in the year due to a shortage of standby pilots.

“Given Ryanair’s previous hostility towards unions, today’s agreement is an historic one,” Brian Strutton, General Secretary of BALPA, said in a statement.

“While we were initially sceptical about Ryanair’s sincerity in offering recognition to us and other unions, our conversations and meetings with them have shown that they are genuine in wanting a constructive trade union relationship.”

Reporting by Alistair Smout; editing by Kate Holton

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