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Ryanair shares jump as it reaches agreement with Irish pilots’ union

Forsa, the pilot’s union, said the agreement would go to ballot with a recommendation of acceptance after a gruelling 22-hour negotiation session ended early on Thursday morning

ryanair planes lined up at an airport
The agreement could potentially bode well for similar negotiations taking place across Europe

Shares in budget airline Ryanair Holdings PLC (LON:RYA) jumped in early trading Thursday after the firm reached an agreement with the trade union representing its Irish pilots.

Forsa, the pilot’s union, said the agreement would go to ballot with a recommendation of acceptance after a gruelling 22-hour negotiation session ended early on Thursday morning.

READ: Ryanair grounds 15% of services today as latest pilot strike takes hold

The negotiations with around 350 of Ryanair’s 4,000 pilots have been among the most difficult as the no-frills airline continues to try and quell protests by its staff across Europe.

Earlier this month, Ryanair was forced to ground around 15% of its flights after a coordinated 24-hour strike over pay disputes led to pilot pickets in Ireland, Germany, Belgium, Sweden, and the Netherlands.

The strikes have also taken their toll on the company’s shares, which have fallen around 20% since late May.

Neil Wilson, chief market analyst at Markets.com, said the agreement “bodes well” for Ryanair’s management as it seeks to solve other labour disputes around Europe, adding that any remaining pilot union concerns would be resolved “fairly quickly” following the agreement.

However, Wilson also said that disputes with cabin crew, rather than pilots, “may not be as easily resolved”, and that while the agreement showed management resolve, it did not suggest that the core thesis - that unionisation will result in higher labour costs and lower margins – “is fundamentally wrong”.

Ryanair shares were up 6.3% at 13.9p.

Quick facts: Ryanair Holdings plc

Price: 8.52 EUR

LSE:RYA
Market: LSE
Market Cap: €9.28 billion
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