HomeBussinessAer Lingus pilots’ dispute grounds another 20,000 passengers

Aer Lingus pilots’ dispute grounds another 20,000 passengers


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Both sides in the Aer Lingus pilots’ pay row will return to the Labour Court on Monday in the latest bid to end a dispute that has forced the cancellation of almost 400 flights.

Another 20,000 passengers have had travel plans upended after Aer Lingus cancelled 122 flights next week. These add to the 40,000 customers disrupted by previous cancellations caused by the airline’s dispute with the Irish Air Line Pilots’ Association (Ialpa).

Both sides confirmed on Friday they had accepted an invitation to attend the Labour Court on Monday afternoon, once again raising hopes that the dispute over the pilots’ claim for 20 per cent pay rises can be resolved.

Ialpa, which is part of trade union Fórsa, said the outcome of that process would be “crucial”.

“Should it fail we are looking at a situation much worse than it is at present and a greater likelihood of escalating industrial action,” said the trade union.

Aer Lingus welcomed the court’s invitation to the parties to return there on Monday and confirmed that the company would attend.

The airline announced on Friday it was cancelling 122 flights from Wednesday July 3rd to Sunday July 7th, hitting an estimated 20,000 passengers, to preserve as many services as possible.

Ialpa members will strike for eight hours from 5am on Saturday, while they have been on a strict work to rule since Wednesday, limiting the airline’s ability to operate its peak holiday schedule.

They will go ahead with Saturday’s strike and continue working to rule. The union’s dispute committee, whose approval is needed before Ialpa can escalate current industrial action, adjourned a meeting on Friday.

Talks between Ialpa and Aer Lingus on Thursday broke down after five hours.

Tánaiste Micheál Martin urged both sides to “get into a room and not get out until there is a resolution.”

He highlighted the anxiety caused to families who had saved all year for holidays, saying “many children have been distressed”.

Industrial action at Aer Lingus: How will it impact passengers?

Meanwhile Fórsa, told the 1,000-plus Aer Lingus cabin crew that it represents to report for work as normal during Saturday’s strike, even if their flights are cancelled, and warned against taking part in pickets or speaking with the media.

Its guidance assures them that pilots understand they are “not included in the dispute”.

Capt Ed Sicher, president of US trade union, the Allied Pilots Association, which has 16,000 members in American Airlines, wrote to Ialpa supporting the Irish organisation’s campaign this week.

American Airlines has just agreed 46 per cent pay rises over four years with the pilots’ union.

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