Pilot unions from around the world are understood to have contacted counterparts at Ryanair to lend their support as they engage in a showdown with management in an intensifying dispute over conditions and pay.
The US Allied Pilots Association, which represents 15,000 pilots at American Airlines, took a full-page advert today in Ireland, imploring Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary to “rethink his approach” to dealing with the airline’s cockpit crews, “because an airline won’t get very far without its pilots”.
The advertisement is signed by Daniel Carey, the president of the Allied Pilots Association, which is headquartered in Texas. Mr Carey has strong Irish connections, and he and his wife split their time between New York and Ballyporeen, in Co Tipperary – the ancestral home of the late US president Ronald Reagan.
Independent.ie understands that the Allied Pilots Association was preparing earlier this week to send up to 350 US pilots to Dublin to picket the Ryanair annual general meeting on Thursday.
But the challenging logistics of arranging the visit at short notice meant it did not happen.
It’s believed that the Allied Pilots Association remains in close contact with Ryanair pilots. Unions and other organisations from across Europe are also understood to be now also liaising closely with the pilots.
About 25 Ryanair flights are cancelled today.