December 2: Irish airline Aer Lingus says that it has “narrowed the gap with most union groups” on its radical Transformation Plan in an effort to cut costs and remove “legacy work practices,” but savings offered haven’t gone far enough.
Faced with heavy losses of €73.9 million in the first six months of this year, the company “must continue to reduce any costs within its control so that it can cope with continued falling fares.” As part of the Plan, the airline is selling some of its aircraft, terminating leases on others and deferring the purchase of three Airbus A330s and two A350s.
But the airline’s biggest challenge is to push through compulsory redundancies – Christoph Mueller, Chief Executive, said: “Only temporary savings over a short few years were offered by is the Irish Airline Pilots Association (IALPA) and cabin crew. The majority of our staff understands that we need to make significant and urgent change; if successful, we can keep staff numbers closer to current levels.
“However, in the absence of real cost savings from all employee groups, we will have to resort to other measures. We will now move to reduce capacity, further eliminating loss-making routes, which will result in the operation of fewer aircraft, leading to additional redundancies beyond those included in the Transformation Plan. It is very likely that these redundancies will commence immediately and will be compulsory.”