Ryanair has signed a union recognition agreement with Italian pilots union ANPAC, continuing the formalization of the airline’s decision to recognize unions across Europe.

In December, Ryanair gave in to pressure to change its long-standing policy and agree to recognize unions after a flight cancellations crisis sparked by the airline’s mishandling of its pilots roster threw Ryanair’s uneasy relationship with its workforce into the open.

The Dublin-based LCC confirmed March 8 that it had signed a Union Recognition agreement with ANPAC—which will now be the sole representative body for Ryanair-employed pilots in Italy—following extensive negotiations since the December about-turn designed to head off the threat of strikes and disruption.

“This recognition agreement with ANPAC is significant because Italy currently accounts for almost 80 of Ryanair’s 400-plus current aircraft fleet and approximately 20% of Ryanair’s pilot body,” the carrier said.

“We are making good progress with unions in other major European Union countries,” Ryanair’s chief people officer Eddie Wilson said. “We hope to sign more recognition deals with pilots and cabin crew unions over the coming weeks and months.”

Ryanair also reached agreement with the British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) in January.  

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