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Ryanair strike: Pilots call off five days of walkout

Simon Calder

In its second about-turn in three days, the British Airline Pilots’ Association (Balpa) has called off five days of industrial action at Ryanair.

The union is in dispute about a wide range of concerns, including pensions, loss of licence insurance and maternity benefits.

Pilots employed by Ryanair in the UK also want to “harmonise pay across the UK in a fair, transparent, and consistent structure”.

Strikes called for 21, 23, 25, 27 and 29 September have now been called off.

A Balpa spokesperson said: “Instead of engaging in negotiations Ryanair has reverted to type, electing to punish pilots by withdrawing their travel benefits.

“Despite this, UK pilot representatives consulted striking members yesterday and agreed to suspend any further strikes in order to pave the way for meaningful negotiations under the auspices of the UK conciliation service, Acas.

“Despite a strong turnout for strike action and a high level of commitment among pilots in Ryanair, the pilot representatives took the decision to allow a breathing space in the hope that constructive negotiations could get underway.”

On Wednesday Balpa called off a strike by British Airways pilots scheduled for Friday 27 September. BA has reinstated about half its flights on that day.