Strike-hit Ryanair announces deal with Irish union

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LONDON: Ryanair on Thursday said it had "reached agreement" with an Irish union representing pilots, in a move that could end strike action that has resulted in cancelled flights across Europe. 

"Ryanair today (Thursday) confirmed that overnight it had reached agreement with FORSA union and its Irish pilots committee on behalf of Republic of Ireland based pilots," the no-frills airline tweeted. 

Reports said that the union has recommended that the pilots back the deal, of which no details were disclosed. 

"Ryanair will take these proposals to its Board in due course after the Irish based pilots have voted on this signed agreement," the tweet added. 

"The mediator has asked both sides to refrain from further comment until the ballot has concluded and we will respect his wishes," Ryanair continued. 

Earlier this month, Ryanair pilots across Europe staged a coordinated 24-hour strike to push their demands for better pay and conditions, plunging tens of thousands of passengers into transport chaos at the peak of the busy summer season. 

The Irish no-frills airline was forced to scrap some 400 out of 2,400 scheduled European flights as pilots in Ireland, Germany, Belgium, Sweden and the Netherlands walked off the job. 

Around 55,000 passengers were affected by the strikes, said Ryanair, which has offered customers refunds or the option of rebooking their journeys. 

Ryanair slammed the stoppages as "unnecessary" but pilots counter that the carrier has refused to engage in meaningful dialogue about collective labour agreements since it began recognising unions in December 2017. 

The airline meanwhile suffered a round of strikes by cockpit and cabin crew in July that disrupted 600 flights in Belgium, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain, affecting 100,000 travellers. AFP