Aer Lingus begins talks on further job cuts

Discussions follow controversial plans to close Shannon base

Aer Lingus is in talks with unions on further job cuts while management has ruled out reversing controversial plans to close Shannon Airport base.

The airline said this week it would close its Shannon base, with the loss of up to 126 jobs, and temporarily lay off staff in Cork between September and late November.

Brian Bowden, Aer Lingus chief people officer, repeated to staff on Friday that the carrier would emerge smaller from the pandemic, which meant further redundancies.

“We have now commenced discussion with unions representing employees regarding both immediate and structural changes,” he said.


Mr Bowden dismissed suggestions that Aer Lingus would reverse the Shannon decision. “Regrettably such a reversal will not be possible,” he said.

He pointed out that the airline had lost €1 million a day for more than a year as Covid travel restrictions hit flying.


Meanwhile, it has borrowed €150 million from the State-controlled Ireland Strategic Investment Fund, which the executive stressed had to be repaid.

Mr Bowden highlighted that the Republic's pandemic travel restrictions were the toughest in Europe.

“And this continues to this day,” he said. “It is the cumulative impact, over 15 months, that means that the immediate actions that we announced on Tuesday are absolutely required.”

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O'Halloran

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