Ryanair has confirmed that its pilots have voted to accept a pay increase of up to 20 per cent.

The airline recently agreed to recognise pilots unions after it faced multiple industrial action threats in the run-up to Christmas. Ryanair says it is continuing recognition discussions with the British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) but decided pay increases should not be delayed.

The pay increases had already been accepted by nine of Ryanair’s 15 pilot bases, but the remaining six have now agreed to the deal. The rise – which the airline claims takes its pilot pay to 20 per cent more than its rival 737 aircraft operators – is due to be paid in the January payroll. However, the airline says 35 per cent of pilots failed to meet its deadline to agree the increase and will miss out on a January rise.

An agreement was reached as the Guardian reports Ryanair may be investigated by HMRC over crew pay. The airline came under scrutiny last year when it was rumoured that cabin crew were put under pressure to increase in-flight sales. MPs have said they were not satisfied by Ryanair’s answers to questions and have now written to HMRC asking for a formal inquiry. 

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