Fears for up to 3900 Ryanair and Aer Lingus jobs as staff warned of impending cuts

Fears for up to 3900 Ryanair and Aer Lingus jobs as staff warned of impending cuts

Aer Lingus will negotiate with unions about staff cuts of up to 900 jobs at the airline, the airline has announced.

At a briefing this morning, union representatives were told that the company is seeking to reduce its 4,500 strong workforce by up to 20% to cut costs.

It is not yet clear which jobs, routes or services will be targeted in the cutbacks.

The airline is putting together a proposal for a voluntary redundancy scheme, which will then be put to unions.

"Aer Lingus is continuing to communicate directly with our employees and engage with their representative bodies," it said in a statement.

Fears for up to 3900 Ryanair and Aer Lingus jobs as staff warned of impending cuts

The news comes as Ryanair announced up to 3,000 jobs across pilots and cabin crew could be cut "as a direct result of the unprecedented Covid-19 crisis".

The budget airline group announced that a restructuring programme could also involve unpaid leave and pay slashed by up to 20%, as well as the closure of “a number of aircraft bases across Europe” until demand for air travel recovers.

Chief executive Michael O’Leary, whose pay was cut by 50% for April and May, has agreed to extend the reduction for the remainder of the financial year to March 2021.

Ryanair said its flights will remain grounded until “at least July” and passenger numbers will not return to 2019 levels “until summer 2022 at the earliest”.

Meanwhile, flights between Northern Ireland and Britain will continue to operate through £5.7 million (€6.5m) of taxpayer funding, UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced.

The package is being funded by the UK Government and the Northern Ireland Executive to ensure airports and airlines do not axe “lifeline services” because of the collapse in demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Aer Lingus and Loganair will be subsidised to maintain London flights to and from Belfast City Airport and City of Derry Airport respectively.

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