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Hospitality Ireland Presents Round-Up Of Ryanair News

By Dave Simpson

Hospitality Ireland presents a round-up of Ryanair news.

Ryanair CEO Says Omicron No Reason To Cancel Flights

Ryanair Group Chief Executive Michael O'Leary said on Tuesday November 30 that he saw no reason to cancel flights because of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus and his airline's flights were heavily booked for the next few weeks.

"We are not cancelling any flights...I don't see that (Omicron) as a justifiable reason to prevent people who are vaccinated or have negative PCRs" from travelling, he told a news conference in Lisbon. "We frankly don't think there is risk to air travel within Europe from those people," he said, adding though that Ryanair was worried about some countries potentially shutting air travel, as was the case of Morocco.

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News by Reuters, edited by Hospitality Ireland. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.

High Court Dispute Between Ryanair And Trade Union Over Threatened Pilots Strike Settled

As reported by The Irish Times, a High Court dispute between Ryanair and a trade union over a threatened pilots strike in 2019 has been settled.

Mr Justice Brian O'Moore reportedly congratulated the parties for reaching a resolution of what he reportedly described as "a case which would have been fascinating had it run".

The case reportedly centred on a claim by Ryanair DAC that it suffered millions in lost bookings and from the impact on fares arising from the planned industrial action, which reportedly did not go ahead after the airline obtained a High Court injunction.

It reportedly also claimed it suffered additional damage due to negative publicity and damage to its business and brand.

The reportedly claims were denied.

The injunction was reportedly obtained on August 21, 2019, preventing Fórsa, the parent union of pilots' union IALPA, from going ahead with the planned 48-hour strike from August 22, 2019, in an industrial dispute over pay and conditions.

The issue of liability in Ryanair's main action, against Fórsa and 11 named individuals including IALPA president Evan Cullen, was reportedly due to be heard on Wednesday and was scheduled to last four weeks.

In the run-up to the main action, there were reportedly preliminary hearings in relation to applications by both sides for discovery of certain information and documents they said they required for the case. Central to it was reportedly information in relation to confidential mediation efforts before the planned industrial action in 2019.

Among these was reportedly an application by the defendants for information in electronic communications within Ryanair relating to the industrial dispute.

Mr Justice O'Moore reportedly ruled that searches should be carried out by Ryanair of text messages, WhatsApp messages, instant messages, iPads, and mobile phones for electronic entries which fell within the categories of discovery. These were reportedly to include electronically stored documents, meeting notes, handwritten notes, text messages, telephone records, WhatsApp messages and other instant messages made, generated or maintained by Ryanair group chief executive Michael O'Leary.

The judge was reportedly satisfied Mr O'Leary had an involvement in the events which gave rise to the legal action.

Indeed, he reportedly said, Mr O'Leary's interactions with Captain Evan Cullen were referred to in discovery which Ryanair was obliged to make.

And Mr O'Leary's involvement may not end there, he reportedly said. There was no affidavit from Mr O'Leary saying that he had little or no relevant involvement in the dealings with Fórsa in 2018 and 2019, "dealings which were obviously quite important as far as the airline was concerned", the judge reportedly said.

"One would expect that the Group CEO would have such an involvement, even if he was not the main driver of, or participant in, the mediation with the union," he reportedly said.

When the case came before Mr Justice O'Moore, Martin Hayden SC, with Eoin O’Shea BL, for Ryanair, reportedly told the court that it would appear that the judge's "Christmas card made it to Santa and peace has broken out" and the case would not be proceeding.

The details of the settlement were being worked out and the case could be adjourned until Thursday November 25 for this to happen, he reportedly said.

Rossa Fanning SC, for the defendants, reportedly agreed the case could be put into Thursday November 25 for this to happen.

The judge said reportedly that he was grateful for the papers he had received just before the case which he will not now have to read. He reportedly said that he would sit again in the morning when the matter could be mentioned.

Threatened Ryanair Pilot Strike Dispute Formally Settled

As also reported by The Irish Times, the High Court dispute between Ryanair and trade union Fórsa over a threatened pilots strike in August 2019 has formally settled on Thursday November 25 with an agreement that the union will pay the airline's costs up to October 2019.

Under the terms of the settlement handed into Mr Justice Brian O'Moore, the union will reportedly pay the airline's costs up to October 2019, which reportedly mainly relate to proceedings over an injunction Ryanair obtained stopping the 48-hour strike over pay and conditions. Each party will reportedly bear its own costs after that date.

The settlement reportedly also stated Ryanair and Fórsa have entered into an industrial relations agreement as to the conduct of industrial relations and the resolution of such disputes.

Martin Hayden SC, with Eoin O'Shea, reportedly said from Ryanair's point of view the process has been one which has "hopefully now hit a reset button" in the relationship and that the matter can "get back on a normal footing".

Rossa Fanning SC, with Jason Murray, reportedly said he was consenting to the order for Ryanair's costs but only up to October 11, 2019, which was essentially the costs of the injunction.

Counsel reportedly added that the expeditious way in which the court dealt with preliminary disputes over the discovery of documents concentrated the minds in terms of a resolution of the overall issues.

The judge reportedly said the parties had done well to settle the case, which he reportedly said he "would have relished actually hearing" due to the legal issues involved and the factual disputes that were going to have to be ventilated in court.

It was better the parties can now "go back to doing the things they do best", he reportedly said.

Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.

Enjoy a FREE Digital Subscription
Enjoy full access to Hospitality Ireland, our weekly email news digest, all website and app content, and every digital issue.
Enjoy a FREE Digital Subscription
Enjoy a FREE Digital Subscription
Enjoy full access to Hospitality Ireland, our weekly email news digest, all website and app content, and every digital issue.
Enjoy a FREE Digital Subscription