Ryanair reaches union deal with the British Airline Pilots’ Association

Aerospace, Business, Management | Tue 30 Jan | Author – Business & Finance
ryanair aircraft

Ryanair and the British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) sign agreement after years of opposition from the airline towards organised labour involvement.

BALPA signed an agreement where representatives will be involved in the discussion of topics such as pay, hours and holidays. This follows Ryanair‘s statement before Christmas saying it is changing its view on labour involvement.

The Irish airline said it is willing to recognise pilots’ unions in a number of EU countries, including the UK. In BALPA’s case, it will be recognised as the sole trader union for all of its 600 Ryanair pilots based in the UK.

The long refusal to join forces with a union stemmed from Michael O’Leary’s low-cost business model, which has built Ryanair up to being the biggest airline in Europe by passengers carried.

The General Secretary of BALPA, Brian Strutton, said that this was an “historic one”, given Ryanair’s previous opposition. He also went on to say he hopes that the agreement would see a “mutually-beneficial relationship between BALPA and Ryanair” and “[he] urge[s] Ryanair to agree deals with pilot unions in other countries and with cabin crew unions.”

Eddie Wilson, Chief People Officer at Ryanair, said the agreement has validated the airline’s decision back in December to recognise unions and validates the fact they have “delivered pay rises of up to 20%” and shows “how serious Ryanair is about working constructively with unions that are willing to work constructively with [them]”.