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Aer Lingus staff accept 'milestone' pension deal

Aer Lingus shares rose 4.9% on the Dublin market after the 70% vote in favour of the pension deal.
Nov 5th 2014, 5:48 PM 10,227 21

AER LINGUS STAFF have voted to accept proposals to address the €707 million deficit in the Irish Aviation Pension Scheme (IASS).

Members of IMPACT trade union who are members of the IASS voted by a margin of 70% (1,031) to 30% (436) in favour of the proposals.

Aer Lingus shares rose 4.9% on the Dublin market to €1.595 after the vote in favour of the pension deal.

The existing scheme will be freezed on December 31 and the remaining assets will be used to buy bonds that will deliver funding for as much as possible of the benefits accumulated so far.

Aer Lingus and the DAA have agreed to make one-off payments of €146.7m and €57.3m respectively.

The 5,000 IASS members who are already receiving their pensions will have their pensions cut.

It will be a 10% cut for pensions over €12,000 and a 20% cut for those on over €54,000.

IMPACT national secretary Matt Staunton said the ballot result brings an end to five years of anxiety and uncertainty for the workers in the scheme.

It also brings an end to the sense of dread that there might be no pension when they retire. Having worked and contributed for years, this was a dreadful burden hanging over these workers and their families.

Staunton called upon Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) to immediately provide a similar collective agreement for DAA and Shannon Airport Authority members to vote on.

Best profits since recession

Meanwhile today saw Aer Lingus report its best profits since before the recession.

The airline has reported an operating profit of €112.9 million for the third quarter of 2014.

That figure is up 19% on the same time last year.

Total Aer Lingus passengers for the first ten months of 2014 were up 4.2% to 9.670 million.

Summer Schedule

The airline also announced a new summer schedule today that includes a new Dublin-Washington service.

It will also expand capacity on transatlantic routes from Dublin to San Francisco, New York and Orlando and from Shannon to Boston.

The Dublin to Washington route will start from May 1 and will fly four times a week.

Speaking at the launch of the new summer schedule Stephen Kavanagh, Chief Strategy and Planning Officer, Aer Lingus said:

“The success of our customer proposition and the development of Dublin as a gateway between Europe and North America will see us operate 24 daily departures across the Atlantic next summer.”

Read: Man who wrote Ebola on Aer Lingus coffee cup set for court appearance>

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