A "historic" recognition deal has been agreed between Ryanair and the trade union representing pilots.
The British Airline Pilots' Association (Balpa) said it had signed a voluntary trade union recognition agreement, with its reps involved in future negotiations on pay, hours, rostering and holidays.
Balpa said the move followed Ryanair's announcement before Christmas that it was changing its stance towards unions and was willing to enter into discussions about recognising pilots' unions in a number of European countries, including the UK.
Under the agreement, Balpa will be recognised as the sole trade union representing all of Ryanair's 600 employed pilots based in the UK.
Balpa general secretary Brian Strutton said: "Given Ryanair's previous hostility towards unions, today's agreement is an historic one.
"While we were initially sceptical about Ryanair's sincerity in offering recognition to us and other unions, our conversations and meetings with them
have shown that they are genuine in wanting a constructive trade union relationship.
"Balpa will be opening our election for five Ryanair Company Council representatives to be chosen from amongst the Balpa members employed by Ryanair.
" These reps will lead future negotiations on issues such as pay, hours, rostering and holidays on behalf of all our Ryanair members.
"We will also be opening an election for an advisory group for Ryanair contractor pilots who are not employed directly by the company.
"I am hopeful that this is the beginning of a strong and mutually beneficial relationship between Balpa and Ryanair and I urge Ryanair to agree deals with pilot unions in other countries and with cabin crew unions."