Ryanair Pilot Group seeks talks with airline management

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Ryanair Pilot Group members have elected its first interim executive council.

The group, which says it was "created by pilots for pilots", was founded in late 2012, and claims that half of the airline's pilots are members.

The executive council - comprised of a Ryanair captain and four other pilots from outside the airline - says it aims to "establish professional and meaningful negotiations with management" at the Irish budget carrier.

It says it also intends to enhance its "communications and support structures" and to fill all council positions with Ryanair pilots as soon as possible.

The group deems it an "extraordinary situation" that Ryanair has announced a 175-aircraft order and a €1 billion ($1.3 billion) return to shareholders while "over 2,300 of its pilots are employed like mercenaries through hundreds of Irish-registered limited companies, with no job, financial or social security".

The interim council calls for Ryanair to "respect the aspirations of the majority of its pilots" and to emulate US low-cost carrier Southwest's policy of "engaging with its staff".

Ryanair dismisses the group's statement as "further evidence of the European Cockpit Association's failure", adding: "The fact that the five-person 'Ryanair' council consists of four pilots from other airlines... shows that this is a 'non-Ryanair pilot group' and shows that the European Cockpit Association don't have enough Ryanair pilots to even form a committee."