Ryanair pilots, who are members of the Irish Air Line Pilots’ Association (IALPA), have voted unanimously in favour of accepting the Collective Agreement between IALPA and Ryanair.

The proposed agreement – covering base transfers and command upgrades and related seniority principles – is the result of mediated talks between elected representatives of Ryanair pilots in Ireland, who were supported by ICTU & Fórsa Officials, and Ryanair management.

IALPA members were consulted on the tentative agreement by way of a secret ballot that was launched on 24 August. Today’s results show that 100% of pilots believe this proposal to be the first step towards providing transparency and fairness for Ryanair pilots while also assisting Ryanair in recruiting and retaining pilots in the future.

Although acknowledging that relations have been difficult in the past between IALPA and Ryanair, IALPA is committed to building a constructive relationship with Ryanair based on mutual respect and a shared future, starting with this initial Collective Agreement on Seniority.

Captain Joe May Spokesperson for IALPA said “While our members fully respect Ryanair’s operational model, they no longer accept the company’s highly problematic employment model. Aer decades of declining terms & conditions, pilots in Ryanair have now firmly found a unified voice. When pilots are treated fairly and transparently by an airline, they will be motivated to contribute to their airline’s success, stay at the company and make their career with that airline.”

IALPA’s spokesperson Captain Joe May also stated “The Irish Air Line Pilots’ Association would like to once again express our thanks, and the appreciation of all our members, to Mr Mulvey for his willingness to assist in the resolution of this dispute. We would also like to thank Ryanair for their participation in the mediation process, Fórsa Officials and ICTU Officials in particular Ms Patricia King and Mr Liam Berney for leading the talks on behalf of Ryanair pilots.”

Note to Editor:

A Seniority Agreement will:

  • Set out how seniority is determined. This is usually based on date of entry or some other agreed mechanism.
  • Will allow every pilot to be able to see their own position on the Seniority List relative to every other pilot.
  • It will set out how seniority will be used to determine a range of issues such as; voluntary/involuntary base allocation and transfer, selection for command upgrade and promotion to Captain, selection for redundancy, one of a number of determining factors in the allocation of annual leave.
  • It will refer to other agreements and set out how the Seniority Agreement will interact with such agreements (eg, Leave Agreement, Base Transfer Agreement, Promotion Agreement, Training Agreement and Executive Pilot Agreement). The seniority agreement is the “cornerstone” agreement and is put in place before other agreements such as a Base Transfer Agreement is put in place.
  • It will set out an agreed procedure for the resolution of disputes with regard to the Seniority List
  • It will allow pilots to bid for vacancies for promotion, base transfer, leave, etc. Pilots are given the opportunity to indicate their preference and vacancies are filled based on the Seniority Agreement. The importance is pilot choice. One pilot may choose to prioritise a base transfer over promotion, while another may opt to accept promotion in a less desirable base to achieve career progression. Pilots can now exercise control over their careers rather than management exercising sole control with no regard for the needs of the pilot or their families.

The Irish Air Line Pilots’ Association (IALPA) represents over 1,200 professional pilots. The majority of IALPA members operate in Aer Lingus, ASL, CHC, CityJet, Norwegian, Ryanair and Stobart Air. IALPA was founded in 1946 and is a founder Member of International federation of Airline Pilots Associations (IFALPA) and the European Cockpit Association (ECA). IALPA joined Fórsa (formerly IMPACT) in 1997.

IALPA will not be making any further public comment.


Irish Air Line Pilots’ Association, Corballis Park, Dublin Airport.
T: +353 1 844 5272 | F: +353 1 844 6051