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Aer Lingus Pilots Strike Over Pay Dispute

admin | June 24, 2024

As the peak summer travel season begins, Aer Lingus is grappling with significant disruptions due to industrial action by its pilots. This conflict, driven by demands for better pay, has already started affecting flights, with more extensive disruptions expected shortly.

The Irish Airline Pilots’ Association (IALPA), representing the pilots, has been advocating for a 24% pay increase to offset inflation since their last raise in 2019. This demand follows a substantial profit increase for Aer Lingus, which reported a 400% rise in profits last year, totaling €255 million.

Captain Mark Tighe, President of IALPA, has been vocal about the need for fair compensation. “Our pay claim is entirely affordable, and Aer Lingus management needs to quickly change position if they want to avoid this dispute escalating,” he stated. Tighe emphasized that pilots made significant sacrifices during the pandemic, contributing to the airline’s financial recovery, and now deserve compensation that reflects their contributions.

The industrial action began with a “work-to-rule” policy on June 26. Under this action, pilots strictly adhere to their scheduled working hours and duties, refusing any overtime or out-of-hours requests. They will also not log into the Aer Lingus portal or answer calls outside work hours. This policy aims to disrupt the normal flexibility that helps manage daily operations, potentially leading to significant delays and cancellations.

A full-day strike is planned for June 29, which is expected to ground more than 50 outbound flights from Dublin, including crucial transatlantic routes to New York JFK, Washington Dulles, and San Francisco. Aer Lingus has notified passengers booked on these flights and is preparing for widespread cancellations and delays.

Aer Lingus management has criticized the union’s demands as unsustainable, arguing that the requested pay increase does not come with any productivity improvements. They highlighted that the airline’s profitability levels are currently the lowest within the IAG group, making continued investment challenging without significant changes.

In response to the work-to-rule and upcoming strike, Aer Lingus stated, “Investment of such profits in paying exorbitant increases to already very well-paid pilots is simplistic in the extreme. Our pilots are more than fairly compensated compared to the market.”

The work-to-rule action has already resulted in flight cancellations and delays. The planned full-day strike on June 29 is expected to further exacerbate these issues, leading to more significant disruptions for passengers. Aer Lingus has advised passengers to regularly check their flight status and consider alternative travel arrangements where possible.

Passengers are urged to stay informed about their flight statuses and prepare for potential disruptions as the industrial action continues. For the latest updates, visit the Aer Lingus website or contact their customer service directly.

Written by admin

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