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Aer Lingus to cancel 10-20% of flights during pilots’ action



Aer Lingus to cancel 10-20% of flights during pilots’ action

PA Media Aer LingusPA Media

Aer Lingus said it would communicate with customers affected by cancellations

Aer Lingus has said it will cancel between 10% and 20% of its flights over the first five days of planned industrial action by pilots.

On Tuesday the Irish Airline Pilots Association (IALPA) served notice of an indefinite work-to-rule from Wednesday 26 June as part of an ongoing pay dispute.

Aer Lingus said the cancellations would enable it to “protect as many services as possible for as many of our customers as possible”.

In a statement issued on Thursday it said details would be communicated to those customers affected “over the next couple of days”.

The airline said customers will be offered a number of choices, with those scheduled to travel between 26 June and 2 July given the option to change flights for free.

“They will also be able to cancel their flight and claim a refund or voucher,” the company said.

“These options will be communicated directly to impacted customers as well as travel agents, while the Aer Lingus ‘Travel Advisory’ page will also have up-to-the-minute information on all the options.”

‘Wholly unnecessary’

Pilots who are members of the IALPA voted 99% in support of action, up to and including a strike.

Aer Lingus said that: “IALPA’s industrial action will have a wholly unnecessary impact on customers who are travelling in the coming weeks, at what is peak holiday season for families.

“The nature of this industrial action will cause a significant impact on our flight schedules.”

The airline said it would communicate directly with third-party agents including travel agents and online agents.

“Passengers who booked through a third-party should contact their sales agents for any updates,” it said

‘Back from the brink’

Earlier, Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Simon Harris said it was “utterly reprehensible” that children and families “could be used as pawns in an industrial relations dispute” at Aer Lingus.

Mr Harris said both sides involved in the Aer Lingus pay dispute need to “step back from the brink”.

The Irish government has made the industrial relations facilities of the state available to help to resolve the dispute, he said.

IALPA members voted overwhelmingly to reject a Labour Court recommendation that pilots should receive pay increases totalling 9.25% as part of an interim settlement.

The figure was well below the 23.8% that the pilots are seeking.

Aer Lingus has described the level of increases being sought as “exorbitant, outrageous and untenable”.

IALPA has said previous pay offers have failed to take account of inflation, the big profits being made by Aer Lingus and the sacrifices made by pilots to sustain the airline during the Covid pandemic.

On Monday the president of the IALPA, Captain Mark Tighe, said Aer Lingus management had to “understand the strength of feeling” and “see that the pilots will not back down”.

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