December 4, 2018 / 8:28 AM / 9 days ago

Pilot deal gives Ryanair clear skies for Christmas in Germany

FILE PHOTO: Ryanair logo is pictured on the the jacket of a cabin crew member ahead of a news conference by Ryanair union representatives in Brussels, Belgium September 13, 2018. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

DUBLIN/BERLIN (Reuters) - Ryanair has reached an agreement on wages and benefits with the main German pilot union that will ensure there is no repeat of strikes that disrupted flights in the country before last Christmas.

The VC union, which was responsible for Ryanair’s first ever pilot strike a year ago, said the two sides planned to sign a full collective labor agreement (CLA) by next March and no industrial action would be taken before then.

Ryanair, which has faced a series of strikes across Europe this year, has made significant progress in union talks in recent weeks and has said it hopes to come to agreements with unions in all its main markets before the end of March.

Europe’s largest budget airline agreed a deal with a cabin crew union in Germany last month.

All pilots based in Germany will be subject to contracts under German rather than Irish law, VC said in a statement.

Germany was the last major market where Ryanair did not have an agreement with pilots.

“While it is not a full CLA (collective labor agreement) yet, this is clear progress by Ryanair and the VC union, which has been one of the more troublesome unions to date,” Goodbody airlines analyst Mark Simpson said in a note.

Ryanair shares were up 0.5 percent at 11.73 euros at 0930 GMT but have lost more than a fifth of their value over the year.

Reporting by Shashwat Awasthi in Bengaluru and Conor Humphries in Dublin and Ilona Wissenbach in Berlin; editing by Patrick Graham and Keith Weir

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