Ryanair announced last week that all 15 of its pilot bases in the UK have now accepted pay increases of up to 20% in a secret ballot vote. These increases will take effect in time for January’s payroll and the new salaries will be paid this week. This includes pilots at Ryanair’s key base, London Stansted, who had previously voted to reject the offer in October.
The Irish airline says that this will make their UK pilot pay 20% higher than their competitors, Norwegian and Jet2.
This offer of a pay rise comes after a turbulent year for Ryanair. Thousands of flights were cancelled over the winter and the airline faced widespread pilot strikes. In a bid to ease some of the tensions following in the wake of this, Ryanair is in talks to recognise unions for the first time in its history and it has made this pay offer to its pilots.
The announcement that pilots at all 15 bases had accepted the pay offer gave the airline’s shares a 3% boost to £14.60 (€16.60). This will help the stock recover after a difficult second half to 2017.
While UK pilots and the majority of Ryanair pilots based in Ireland will received the pay rise in January, there remain some pilots in Dublin who have not held a vote. The airline said that it was “disappointed” that 35% of its Dublin pilots did not organise a vote.
Ryanair says that recognition discussions with the UK pilot union, BALPA, are proceeding quickly. Slower progress has been reported on discussions with Forsa, the largest public service union in Ireland. Ryanair says that it is continuing to work with the union to try and get the remaining pilots in Dublin to accept the offer of a pay rise.
Forsa said that it hopes to finalise a recognition agreement with Ryanair quickly so that they “can move on to negotiate substantial issues around pilots’ pay, working conditions and contractual agreements”.