Aer Lingus: Strike to offset profits

Aer Lingus has reported that it experienced strong trading in April but warned that the threat of strike action has considerably damaged its booking profile.

In a statement issued to the stock market, Aer Lingus said any increase in profits from the strong performance in April would be completely wiped out by Impact’s decision to take industrial action over a dispute about rostering hours.

“The unwarranted 24-hour industrial action by the Impact trade union, deliberately timed to occur just before the seasonally important June bank holiday weekend in Ireland, has considerably damaged Aer Lingus’s forward booking profile,” the company said.

“Impact has also indicated to Aer Lingus that it will issue further notice of industrial action in due course. Management’s current assessment is that the adverse effect of the strike called for May 30 will offset the potential revenue gains which would otherwise have been realised by Aer Lingus.”

It is understood that the planned industrial action for May 30 will affect 204 flights. Aer Lingus has already stopped taking bookings for these flights.

Davy Stockbroker analyst Ross Harvey said while the airline hadn’t put a figure on the estimated cost of the union’s action, the threat alone had lost the airline €300,000.

“No details were provided regarding the financial impact of the industrial action by the Impact trade union; however, management’s current assessment is that it will offset the potential revenue gains that would otherwise have been realised by Aer Lingus,” he said.

In its first-quarter interim management statement, “Aer Lingus detailed that the threatened industrial action by the Siptu trade union over St Patrick’s weekend had an adverse impact of circa €0.3m on revenue performance (due to lower booking volumes).”

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