Aer Lingus passengers face cancelled flights due to pilot strike

Aer Lingus passengers face cancelled flights due to pilot strike

AER LINGUS passengers face cancelled flights this month as pilots prepare to strike next week.

The Irish Airline Pilots’ Association (IALPA) has issued seven days’ notice to the airline’s management informing them that their pilots will begin industrial action at a minute past midnight on Wednesday, June 26.

The work to rule action will last "indefinitely", the IALPA have confirmed, with the organisation’s president, Captain Mark Tighe, explaining they “are now at a point where this dispute has escalated to indefinite industrial action by pilots”.

“We are in this position because management have failed to provide us with a meaningful offer on pay that accounts for inflation and the sacrifices made by pilots to save Aer Lingus during the pandemic,” he added.

It will be a strict work to rule action by the pilots, which is a form of industrial action which sees employees doing exactly what is stated in their contracts and nothing more.

The pilots involved will not work overtime, or any other out of hours duties requested by their employer.

“Management keep insisting that pilots must sell their working conditions in exchange for any increase in pay,” Captain Tighe said.

“We are absolutely not prepared to do that, especially when Aer Lingus is making enormous profits.”

He explained: “Our pay claim is for 24 per cent, which equates to inflation since our last pay rise in 2019.

“Aer Lingus have increased their profits by 400 per cent to €255 million last year.

“Our pay claim is entirely affordable, and Aer Lingus management need to quickly change position if they want to avoid this dispute escalating.”

Responding to the IALPA notice, Aer Lingus has issued a statement claiming it is “currently assessing the impact” of it.

“This 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 airline said.

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

“However, our focus is on communicating directly with impacted customers when we can and notifying them of their options.

“We will also be communicating 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.”

They added that they will do “everything they can” to minimise the impact for customers.

“However, it is inevitable that there will be disruption as a result of this industrial action and we will communicate any changes, delays or cancellations to impacted customers as soon as possible,” they admit.

“Where there are cancellations, we will look to reaccommodate customers as quickly as possible and will work with other airlines, with partner airlines and seek to hire-in aircraft for this purpose."