Aer Lingus to cut jobs despite talks

AER LINGUS has said it will press ahead with its plans to axe up to 1,000 jobs even though it has accepted savings put forward by its cabin crew.

The board of the airline yesterday received an update from management on progress on talks with unions on its €97 million cost-savings drive.

It was told the cutbacks offered by cabin crew, estimated to be €20m, were the result of real progress and were “nearly there”, but there remained a gap between the company and pilots on their contribution to the savings.

In spite of the progress with all but the pilots’ unions, the company said it must press ahead with the threatened measures.

“Unless we get all the groups to agree we are nowhere,” a company source said. That means that as well as its initial plan to axe 676 jobs, cut pay across the company and make changes to pensions, the airline will begin the axing up to 300 further jobs as it grounds a number of aircraft.

The only way that process will be stopped is if the pilots come back with a better savings offering. “Therefore the ball is in their court,” the source said.

However, a spokesman for IMPACT which represents cabin crew and the Irish Airline Pilots’ Association, said it had heard the Aer Lingus board had been told some progress had been made with pilots and management was told to continue negotiations with IALPA.

“The response of the airline’s board this afternoon is an encouraging development following very intense negotiations over the past week,” he said.


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