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Up to 500 Aer Lingus job losses expected due to pandemic

The airline said the Covid-19 pandemic is having a “catastrophic effect on the aviation industry”.

File image of Aer Lingus flight.
File image of Aer Lingus flight.
Image: Rollingnews.ie

THERE WILL BE up to 500 jobs lost at Aer Lingus as a result of the impact of Covid-19, the company announced today.

Aer Lingus has today notified the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection about the proposed redundancies of “up to 500 employees across the business”. 

The airline said the Covid-19 pandemic is having a “catastrophic effect on the aviation industry”. 

“Aer Lingus is currently operating less than 5% of its normal schedule and has no certainty regarding the restoration of its services or the future demand for travel once services resume,” a statement from Aer Lingus said. 

It said this situation is “exacerbated” in Ireland by the 14-day quarantine requirement for passengers arriving into the country and advice against all non-essential travel. 

“Ireland has failed to take steps that other European Member States have taken – they have progressively restored transport services and connectivity in response to a European Commission invitation to do so,” Aer Lingus said. 

The company is now commencing a consultation process with employee representative organisations. 

Trade union Fórsa, which represents workers in Irish-based airlines and airports, said this afternoon that it would engage with Aer Lingus management about the redundancies.

The union said it would enter discussions with the aim of minimising the number of job losses and protecting the incomes of workers at the company.

Trade union Siptu is seeking an “urgent meeting” with Aer Lingus after today’s announcement of redundancies.

“Siptu representatives will seek to ensure that the as many jobs as possible are maintained at the airline and that any workers who choose to exit the company do so on a voluntary basis,” the trade union said. 

Sinn Féin TD, Darren O’Rourke, has called on the government to intervene in the situation and use its “influence” to protect jobs.

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“This is very concerning news coming from Aer Lingus this evening that will only add to the stress and anxiety of workers at the airline,” O’Rourke said. 

“The pandemic has obviously had a major impact on the airline industry, but the government [has] taken a complete hands-off approach to dealing with it.”

Labour TD, Duncan Smith, said the decision showed a “disregard for workers and their rights”.

Fine Gael TD, Alan Farrell, said that the job losses are “deeply saddening” but said this is not a matter for the Department of Transport. 

“Industrial relations are a matter for the airlines, their employees and their partners,” he said.

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