Ryanair's legal action against a trade union that represents dozens of its Irish-based pilots has been adjourned after the High Court was informed that the sides have returned to mediation talks.
In its proceedings against Forsa and several named pilots, the airline claims that it lost €13.7m as a result of last month's proposed strike.
In August Mr Justice Denis McDonald granted Ryanair an injunction preventing the pilots from going on a 48-hour strike from going ahead.
The judge ruled that Ryanair DAC was entitled to an injunction, as part of its proceedings, against Forsa, which is the parent union of IALPA, preventing the airline pilots from striking on 22 and 23 August.
The injunction, which was fully contested by Forsa, remains in place pending the full hearing of the dispute.
Following his ruling Mr Justice McDonald also secured an undertaking from Ryanair that it would progress the full hearing of its claim against the union.
When the matter returned before the High Court today the judge welcomed that the two sides had returned to mediation, which he said was a better way to resolve industrial relations disputes than through the courts.
The Judge said he was not prepared to agree to Ryanair's request that a timetable is put in place for the exchange of legal documents to ensure the dispute gets an early hearing before the High Court.
The judge said that he had sought the undertaking from Ryanair in order to "protect the union's position" and that it would "not be left in limbo."
As the sides had returned to mediation there was no need to ensure the case gets an early hearing, and he adjourned the matter to a date in November.
Eoin O'Shea, barrister-at-law for Ryanair, had asked the court to put a timetable in place that results in an early hearing of the dispute, as there were important issues his clients want the court to determine that are "outside the mediation process."
Counsel added that Ryanair was also concerned that the mediation could again collapse, resulting in events that lead to the proceedings being brought in the first place.
Counsel said that the airline has taken steps to progress its action including serving the union with a statement of claim.
Marguerite Bolger, senior counsel for Forsa, said Ryanair's request was "extraordinary," given that meetings had already taken place between the sides.
Counsel added that the union had also given an undertaking that no further strike action would be taken based on its ballot of IALPA members in August which resulted in the proposed strike action that was injuncted by the court.
Ryanair's action is against Forsa and several pilots who are members of IALPA, including that union's president Mr Evan Cullen.
IALPA represents approximately 180 Dublin-based pilots who are directly employed by Ryanair, which earlier this month balloted its members who voted to go on strike in a dispute over pay and conditions.
Ryanair seeks various orders in ist action against the defendants including orders for damages. It claims that, from late July, it experienced a significant drop in demand for bookings and was required to reduce its prices to stimulate demand and mitigate its loses.
It claims that it lost almost 125,000 bookings that it expected to make in the period of time between mid-July and mid-August for flying date up to 31 March 2020.
It estimates that the proposed strike resulted in lost bookings and impact on fares resulted in financial losses of €13.7m.
In addition, the airline claims that it suffered further additional damage due to the negative publicity and damage to its business and brand.
The calculation of that alleged damage will have to require the assistance of skilled experts at trial, Ryanair also claims.
Ryanair's UK pilots cancel strikes for later this month
Meanwhile Ryanair pilots based in the UK have cancelled five days of strikes set for later this month, the airline said today.
Strikes set for September 21, 23, 25, 27 and 29 will not go ahead, Ryanair said, as it called on the pilots to resume talks in the East Midlands or in Dublin next week.
The pilots, who are members of pilots union BALPA, announced the strikes earlier this month, after earlier walkouts caused little disruption.
At Ryanair's AGM yesterday, chief executive Michael O'Leary described the strikes as "complete failures".
The British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) has accused Ryanair of threatening to remove pilots' benefits should they take part in strike action.
Widespread strikes over pay and conditions a year ago forced Ryanair to cancel hundreds of flights, hitting its profits in the busy summer months.
But a series of strikes in Britain, Spain and Portugal in recent weeks has caused minimal disruption.