British Ryanair pilots accept post-COVID pay restoration deal- union

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FILE PHOTO: Ryanair planes are seen at Dublin Airport

LONDON -British pilots at low-cost airline Ryanair have voted to accept a revised offer on post-COVID pay restoration following negotiations, the BALPA trade union said on Monday.

The breakthrough in one of Ryanair’s largest markets came as unions representing cabin crew in Belgium, Portugal, France and Italy prepare to strike for between one and three days each later this week.

“Following the intense negotiations Ryanair put forward a revised offer. BALPA members were balloted and voted to accept the offer,” a union spokesperson said in an email.

In July 2020 BALPA members voted overwhelmingly to accept temporary pay cuts in order to avoid jobs losses due to COVID-19 groundings.

Chief Executive Michael O’Leary in January then said that management had begun discussions with unions across its network about accelerating pay restoration in a deal he said might result in the extension pay agreements by a year or two.

Asked how many pilots had accepted deals covering post-COVID pay restoration, a Ryanair spokesperson said over 70% of its pilots are covered by “newly renegotiated agreements”. There are pay agreements in place for all pilots, the airline said.

BALPA last month said it was in negotiations with management “to end the COVID-19 mitigation measures … and to see some recognition, from management, of the loyalty and sacrifices the workforce has made.” It declined to provide further details of the approved deal.

Ryanair shares were up 5.3% at the close of European trading.

(Reporting by Conor Humphries and Muvija M; editing by William James, Bernadette Baum and David Evans)