Talks between Ryanair and pilots to try to resolve a long-running dispute have concluded for the day at Dublin Airport.

Both sides will return tomorrow at 10.30am under the mediation of Kieran Mulvey.

Ryanair and the Irish Air Line Pilots' Association, which is part of trade union Fórsa, are engaging in a fresh attempt to broker a resolution to the Irish dispute.

Three days have been set aside by Mr Mulvey and both sides have been asked to refrain from public comment while the process is under way.

Around 100 of Ryanair's 350 Irish-based pilots held their fifth one-day strike on Friday in a dispute over base transfers, promotions, leave and other issues.

They joined pilots in Belgium, Holland, Germany and Sweden in a series of strikes that forced the airline to cancel 396 of 2,400 flights, disrupting thousands of passengers.

It is thought that Mr Mulvey may ask Fórsa to suspend any further strike action.

The former head of the Workplace Relations Commission could also ask Ryanair to row back from a move to cut its Dublin aircraft fleet from October, with the possible loss or transfer of hundreds of jobs.

Bernard Harbor of Fórsa has said there is quite a distance between the two parties and described the task faced by Mr Mulvey as "significant".

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, he said that there was a lot of ground to be made up and a lot of time had been wasted.

However, he said his side was going into today's talks with a determination to find a resolution.

Speaking on the same programme, Kenny Jacobs of Ryanair said he believed the gap between the two sides was "quite close".

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IALPA has said there was no transparent system for the allocation of annual leave and promotion.

It has said it was seeking an agreement to "provide our member pilots directly employed by Ryanair" with a fair mechanism to understand base transfers.

Ryanair described last Friday's strike action as "regrettable and unjustified" and it called on the unions in the different continue to continue negotiations.

The airline averted widespread strikes before last Christmas by agreeing to recognise unions for the first time in its 30-year history.

However, it has been unable to quell rising protests over slow progress in negotiating collective labour agreements.

Germany's Vereinigung Cockpit union said last week that pilots had to be prepared for "a very long battle" and that it could take months to push through change at Europe's largest low-cost carrier.