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Dublin: 7°C Friday 4 December 2020
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Aer Lingus will 'buy back' pilots' leave days as services operate normally today

Services are operating as normal today after pilots called off threatened industrial action yesterday. Details of the new agreements brokered at the Labour Relations Commission have emerged.

Aer Lingus flights are taking off as normal today (File photo)
Aer Lingus flights are taking off as normal today (File photo)
Image: Julien Behal/PA Archive/Press Association Images

AS AER LINGUS services operate as normal today, it has emerged that the airline has agreed to “buy back” leave days from pilots over the summer in an effort to ease the pressure on staff roster arrangements.

The deal between the airline and the Irish Airline Pilots’ Association was reached yesterday following lengthy talks at the Labour Relations Commission (LRC) which were aimed at avoiding strike action that was due to begin today and would have affected as many as 30,000 passengers.

The Irish Times reports that the new agreements will see pilots paid a premium of 0.5 per cent of their salary every time they work a leave day. There will be a new longer term roster that will see pilots work five days on and have three days off which will be implemented on an experimental basis next winter.

Another element of the deal will see pilots at the airline’s Gatwick base in the UK offered loyalty bonus payments of £6,000 (€6,712) with pilots in Belfast receiving a 3 per cent pay increase, backdated to January. Revised roster arrangements will seek to stop a growing number of resignations.

The Mail reports that pilots in Belfast and Gatwick had been unhappy with their pay and complained that their salaries were uncompetitive compared with other Aer Lingus bases. Pilots working out of Belfast were the lowest paid of all the airline’s pilots.

IMPACT, of which IALPA is a member, said yesterday that proposed strike action by pilots in Belfast and Gatwick next week would remain in place until members had time to consider the new deal.

About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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