Airport to axe 32 jobs in bid to stem losses

Cork Airport has said it needs to secure at least 32 redundancies if it is to avoid mounting losses over the next three years.

It said the job losses will be on a voluntary basis but it has not released the terms of the offer that will be available to staff.

Indications are that no particular positions will be targeted and the scheme will be available to all workers.

A statement from the airport also flagged potential pay cuts as it looks to peg its payroll costs against other airports.

The move is in response to a report commissioned by Ernst and Young to examine the costs of running the airport. This followed on from the recommendations in the Booz consultant’s review of the country’s three main airports.

The report was prepared for Transport minister Leo Varadkar and said Dublin Airport needed Cork to remain in State control due to a debt legacy.

The latest recommendations looked at how the airport could operate within its annual budget and compete for new business.

Airport director, Niall McCarthy, said a number of changes are needed.

These include:

nA voluntary redundancy scheme to reduce staff by a minimum of 32.

nAn overhaul of rosters and working arrangements.

nBenchmark pay scales against other businesses in the aviation sector.

nA review of non-payroll costs to find savings.

Mr McCarthy said that passenger numbers had fallen and this had hurt Cork Airport’s sustainability.

And he said without costs coming down, losses would start to build up.

“Unfortunately, Cork Airport’s operating costs have not fallen in line with the decline in aviation traffic and are now also significantly higher than many of its peer airports.

“The Airport’s relatively high operating costs per passenger have contributed to cumulative cash losses, excluding depreciation of €12m, between 2010 and 2012. These losses will be replicated over the next three years if no action is taken,” he said.

Mr McCarthy said the Ernst and Young report, had shown Cork Airport to be unsustainable and uncompetitive.

The airport said it will flesh out the terms of its voluntary redundancy offer within the next week and open talks with unions.

Earlier this year, the Dublin Airport Authority unveiled a focused voluntary redundancy scheme that looked to cut 150 jobs. It set aside €17m to pay for this.

Last year the group reduced its workforce by almost 200 from a high of 3,100.

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