Flight Cancellations Inevitable as Aer Lingus Pilots Plan Industrial Action

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Flight Cancellations Inevitable as Aer Lingus Pilots Plan Industrial Action

Flight cancellations are inevitable if the planned industrial action by Aer Lingus pilots goes ahead next week, the airline has announced.

On Tuesday, the Irish Airline Pilots Association (IALPA) served notice of an indefinite work-to-rule starting on June 26, as part of an ongoing pay dispute. The pilots, who are members of IALPA, voted 99% in favour of the action, which includes the potential for a strike.

Donal Moriarty, Aer Lingus’s Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, told Irish broadcaster RTÉ that the impact of next week’s industrial action would be significant.

“It will definitely trigger cancellations, and it’s likely to be cumulative with the level of cancellation increasing as time goes by, so it will definitely be significant,” he said on RTÉ’s Drivetime program.

Mr. Moriarty explained that the action is “designed for maximum negative impact on customers” and is intended to cause significant disruption, particularly due to the provision preventing changes to rosters.

“So inevitably we are going to see some cancellations and perhaps growing levels of cancellations, day by day,” he added.

Mr. Moriarty called on members of IALPA to engage with them via the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC), which he said they have so far refused to do.

Pilots ‘Won’t Back Down’

IALPA members overwhelmingly voted to reject a Labour Court recommendation that pilots should receive pay increases totalling 9.25% as part of an interim settlement. The pilots are seeking a 23.8% increase, a figure that Aer Lingus has described as “exorbitant, outrageous, and untenable.”

IALPA has stated that previous pay offers have failed to account for inflation, the significant profits being made by Aer Lingus, and the sacrifices made by pilots to sustain the airline during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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

Impact on Passengers

The looming industrial action has left many passengers uncertain about their travel plans. Aer Lingus has advised passengers to stay updated through their website and customer service channels for information on possible cancellations and changes to their flights.

Passengers are encouraged to check their flight status regularly and to be prepared for potential disruptions to their travel schedules.

As the situation develops, Aer Lingus and IALPA are under pressure to reach an agreement to avoid widespread disruption to flights and significant inconvenience to travellers.

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