Irish pilots' union Impact had said earlier that Ryanair had confirmed in writing it recognised the union as the representative of the airline's pilots, and Impact had accepted an invitation to attend a meeting on 3 January to agree "a comprehensive recognition agreement that will establish collective bargaining procedures in the airline".
"I would be very unsure about how many of our pilots will support this tomorrow", Bellew told Reuters, adding that the airline would be able to "catch up" by flights departing later if there was disruption.
IMPACT has given Ryanair until midday today to come up with a document and said strike action can be implemented in the absence of a timely agreement.
Last week, Ryanair broke from its long-standing policy of refusing to recognise unions.
Ryanair said the strike is "unjustified" given that the sides have agreed to meet again on January 5, adding that the pilot council which attended the talks had not been elected by its own staff and contained one person who is now in litigation with the company.
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"Ryanair's public offer to conduct negotiations with VC can only be classified as a further publicity stunt", said Ingolf Schumacher, head of Cockpit's industrial department.
The union cautioned that it expected management to reach agreement on procedures quickly so that the parties could move on to negotiate "substantial issues" around pilots' pay and working conditions.
"In the history of the VC, there has never been a case in which the collective bargaining autonomy has been trampled on by an employer as it is now the case with Ryanair", it added.
Ryanair has said that it also plans to move on to recognize flight-attendant unions in the new year.
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"This is good news for Ryanair pilots, passengers and shareholders", she said.
IMPACT subsequently released a statement on Thursday to confirm Ryanair's recognition of IMPACT as the representative of the airline's pilots for collective bargaining purposes, with immediate effect.
Update 4.35pm: Ryanair is facing a four hour strike by pilots in Germany three days before Christmas.
The low-priced carrier said it had sent a letter to Impact officials with proposals on pay and conditions and procedures for dealing with industrial relations disputes.
Mr Connolly said the breakthrough was made possible by the resolve of Ryanair pilots.
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