Aer Lingus has reversed its decision to lay off almost 200 staff at its Cork base while runway reconstruction works take place this year.
The airline said it has taken the decision after receiving assurances from the Government that the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme will continue until the end of the year. It is understood that staff will be retained at 50% payroll.
In May Aer Lingus said that approximately 60 ground staff and 138 cabin crew at its Cork base would be laid-off from early September until late November.
Cork Airport is to close the main runway to all fixed-wing aircraft operations from early September until November while the runway 16/34 is dug up, rebuilt and upgraded. The runway upgrade was planned to take place in 2022 but was brought forward by the pandemic.
In a statement to the Irish Examiner Aer Lingus said: "Following reassurances provided by the Government regarding the continuation of the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme to the end of Quarter 4 of 2021, Aer Lingus has decided not to temporarily lay off its employees in Cork Airport during the period of the runway closure, as had been previously announced.”
Fine Gael senator Jerry Buttimer welcomed the announcement and said it was the correct decision to make.
"It was important that the loyal staff in Cork be retained and kept on the payroll. The aviation sector was the first to be hit by the pandemic and will be the last to recover," he said.