No talks scheduled in Aer Lingus row

Union’s request for release of negotiators from duty indicates that talks in bitter dispute may restart

Ialpa Mark Tighe president Ialpa accompanied by principal officers (back l to r) Dermot Moran, vice president Ialpa, Owen Kelly, vice president administration, and Daniel Langan vice president finance after notifying Aer Lingus of industrial action. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

No talks are scheduled between Aer Lingus and its pilots despite both sides in the bitter pay dispute saying they have sought meetings with the other.

Members of the Irish Airline Pilots’ Association (Ialpa) plan an open-ended work to rule from Wednesday and an eight hour strike on Saturday morning, sparking 220 flight cancellations, as they pursue a claim for a 23.88 per cent pay rise.

The airline confirmed on Monday that “no direct discussions” on the dispute were scheduled between the pair.

Aer Lingus says it wrote to the pilots’ union on Sunday June 23rd seeking negotiations on pay that would include discussion of productivity and flexibility, but that Ialpa responded that it had no mandate to enter such talks.


Ialpa maintains that it wrote to Aer Lingus at the weekend seeking a meeting but has yet to receive a response.

Ialpa union has also asked Aer Lingus to release its negotiators, who are on flying duty, to allow the pair’s representatives meet as they prepare for this week’s industrial action.

Meanwhile , tourists have been cancelling hotel bookings, according to one of the industry’s key lobby groups, which is demanding a quick end to the dispute.

Michael Magner, president of the Irish Hotels Federation, called for a suspension of industrial action and for both sides to “engage positively” in the interests of passengers and visitors to the country

Hoteliers are the latest to call on the sides to resolve their differences, joining Government and opposition politicians, among others.

Meanwhile Ialpa has contacted its international federation to seek assistance for Aer Lingus crews returning home Saturday as it prepares to strike on that day and this week’s work to rule.

The Irish organisation has asked the International Federation of Airline Pilots’ Associations to aid crews returning from London and Rome along with several North American airports.

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The news follows a weekend during which the rift between the sides appeared to widen further with the union accusing the company of antagonising members and officials.

Both have said publicly that they remain willing to meet to resolve the row, which has been building since early this year.

Pilots argue that their claim is reasonable in light of inflation and pay rates in equivalent airlines, the company has branded it exorbitant.

Aer Lingus has cancelled 124 flights over five days from Wednesday, June 26th, to minimise the work to rule’s consequences.

Industrial action at Aer Lingus: How will it impact passengers?

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The airline subsequently said it would cancel 120 services on Saturday morning, June 29th, as a consequence of the eight-hour strike that the union plans between 5am and 1pm on that day.

It will reschedule some transatlantic flights originally timed for that day.

Aer Lingus is offering passengers who have booked between Wednesday June 26 and Tuesday July 2nd the options of cancelling their flights in exchange for refunds or altering them free of charge.

Ialpa’s work to rule severely limits flexibility, hindering the airline in operating its full summer schedule, consequently it decided to cancel 124 flights over the first five days of the action. The company said this was to “preserve as many services as possible”.

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O’Halloran covers energy, construction, insolvency, and gaming and betting, among other areas