Irish LCC Ryanair has canceled 30 flights between Ireland and the UK on July 12, with pilots in Ireland expected to maintain a planned strike over concerns about base transfers and pilot seniority agreements, despite plans for the airline to meet the Irish Airline Pilots’ Association (IALPA) union.

Ryanair and the Irish trade union Forsa, of which IALPA is a branch, met July 11 but the airline said after the meeting it had offered to set up a working group to discuss its written proposals on seniority, base transfers, recognition and a new annual leave system but "regrettably agreement on this sensible course of action wasn't possible after seven hours of talks."

Forsa had said before the meeting it still expected the strike to go ahead.

Ryanair said it had tried to avert the strike, which it described as unnecessary given the written proposals on seniority, annual leave and base transfers it had offered to its pilots and the union.

“We regrettably must plan for some disruptions on Thursday and try to minimize their impact, especially upon Irish customers and their families traveling on holidays to Portugal, France, Spain, Italy and Greece,” Ryanair said July 10.

The LCC said it would cancel up to 30 of its 290 flights to and from Irish airports on July 12—with high-frequency routes from Ireland to London and other UK destinations affected. All other Ireland-Europe flights were set to go ahead as scheduled. 

The airline said 94 of its more than 350 Irish pilots were set to take part in the strike.

Ryanair only began recognizing unions in December 2017 after a flight cancellations crisis forced it into a U-turn on its previous stance of dealing only with employee representative councils. So far it has recognition agreements in place with UK and Italian pilot and cabin crew unions.

Ryanair said it could not rule out further disruption in July and August.

Helen Massy-Beresford, helen.massy-beresford@aviationweek.co.uk