Aer Lingus warns of further job cuts following closure of Shannon cabin crew base
Aer Lingus has warned staff of further potential job cuts as the company has incurred “considerable” debt.
The airline’s chief personnel officer Brian Bowden said on Friday that the closure of the Shannon airport cabin crew base would not be undone and the airline would become smaller after the pandemic.
He said the decision was not made lightly, but he wanted to be “upfront and up front” with the staff. Mr Bowden said the closure of the Shannon base, the temporary closure and layoff of staff in Cork, as well as the pay cuts, have “naturally” generated a lot of backlash, but the decision will not be overturned.
“Unfortunately, such a reversal will not be possible,” he said.
This follows the airline’s announcement on Tuesday that it will permanently close its Cabin Crew Members base in Shannon and temporarily lay off staff in Cork between September and the end of November.
Mr Bowden said the cabin crew base at Shannon was “inefficient” and “out of step with the market” for some time.
“In our new reality, an inefficient cabin crew base cannot provide what is needed to help rebuild the financial health of the business,” he said.
Mr Bowden added that there is “potential for more” cost-cutting measures as the airline has incurred “considerable” debts on commercial terms that will have to be repaid with interest.
Mr Bowden said the airline was currently in talks with the unions over “immediate and structural changes,” and said structural changes would be needed across the company.
Forsa’s Aviation division currently represents the Aer Lingus cabin crew which includes 83 workers in Shannon and 99 in Cork.
Mr Bowden said the airline has been losing an average of € 1m per day for over a year and the € 150m loan received from the Irish Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) will not solve the airline problems.
He acknowledged that the job subsidy program had helped to keep jobs and reduce layoffs, but said that with “the summer largely lost, it is now clear that we have too many resources to do this. even optimistic scenarios for the coming year ”.
He added that the strict restrictions on airlines in Ireland during the pandemic were the toughest in Europe.
Mr Bowden said the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic meant “immediate actions” were needed for the airline to continue and survive.
“This is the cumulative impact, over 15 months, which means that the immediate actions that we announced on Tuesday are absolutely necessary,” he said.
This story was updated on May 22, 2021