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Aer Lingus loses out on new jet amid pilots dispute

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Aer Lingus owner International Airlines Group (IAG) will allocate the first of six new long-range Airbus jets originally earmarked for the Irish carrier “elsewhere” while a pay dispute with pilots continues.

The Irish airline recently said that IAG would allocate the Airbus A321 XLR aircraft to one of its other companies unless it could resolve the pay dispute by April 29th.

“Unfortunately, Aer Lingus was not able to give IAG the cost structure assurances necessary for this investment and so the inaugural A321 XLR – originally planned for Aer Lingus – will be allocated elsewhere in the group,” it said.

The Labour Court this week adjourned after hearing submissions from Aer Lingus and the Irish Airline Pilots’ Association, and will make a recommendations meant to settle the dispute.

IAG warned that the aircraft would go to one of its other subsidiaries, British Airways, Iberia and Vueling, if the row was not resolved.

Aer Lingus was due to receive six of the jets, capable of flying long distances at a low cost, in all.

Ialpa is seeking increases or more than 20 per cent that it says will compensate for inflation and align pay with the market.

The union stresses that it supports growth at Aer Lingus, but not at the cost of members’ pay and conditions.

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