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Aer Lingus seeks up to 900 job cuts as a result of Covid-19 collapse in demand

It’s understood that Aer Lingus will be putting forward proposals for voluntary redundancies.

An Aer Lingus plane lands in Heathrow.
An Aer Lingus plane lands in Heathrow.
Image: PA Images

Updated May 1st 2020, 4:15 PM

AER LINGUS IS looking to begin negotiations as it seeks to cut up to 20% of its workforce. 

The airline employs about 4,500 staff, suggesting that up to 900 jobs could be cut.

Unions met with the company this morning with Aer Lingus saying its workforce needs to be reduced due to a collapse in demand as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

It’s understood that Aer Lingus will be putting forward proposals for voluntary redundancies. 

Aer Lingus has already reduced working hours and staff wages by 50% as a result of the huge impact the virus has had on the aviation industry. 

Siptu representatives have this afternoon called for detailed discussions with management in Aer Lingus following this morning’s announcement. 

“We have requested that the company shares its detailed plans for each area and location within the company as soon as possible,” Siptu sector organiser Neil McGowan said. 

He said the trade union will “study these plans” and will seek to “ensure that as many jobs as possible are maintained in the airline”. 

“We also made it clear to management that any job losses must take place on a voluntary basis,” McGowan said. 

While this news is extremely worrying to our members it is not a great surprise. The aviation sector has been severely affected by the Covid-19 crisis across Europe and Aer Lingus is not immune to this downturn. 

“However, we are calling on the government to extend the wage subsidy for aviation workers for the duration of the crisis in the industry. The subsidy has played a significant role in maintaining employment and it will be required for a longer period in aviation given the global impact of the Covid-19 virus on air travel,” he said. 

Similarly, trade union Fórsa has called on the government to “act swiftly” to ensure that Ireland has an aviation industry after the Covid-19 crisis is over. 


Earlier today, Ryanair said that 3,000 jobs could be cut at the airline, representing about 15% of the company’s workforce

Reacting to the developments within the aviation sector, Labour Party TD Duncan Smith said that the government needs to intervene to project jobs.

The government needs to extend the temporary wage subsidy scheme for industries that are going to be key for getting us back on track such as Aer Lingus. It is clear that the government need to take urgent action to address the potential torrent of job losses that could occur at Dublin Airport between Aer Lingus and Ryanair.

“Aer Lingus and Ryanair must do everything they can to keep people in their jobs at this time. Keeping staff in reserves where they can must be an option,” the deputy added. 

With reporting by Hayley Halpin

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Rónán Duffy

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