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Aer Lingus Braces For Pilots’ Strike, Cancels Flights

A work-to-rule industrial action is poised to affect hundreds of flights throughout the week.

An Aer Lingus Airbus A320 sporting the carrier’s new Euro-white colors. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | William Derrickson)

Irish flag carrier Aer Lingus is about to face some very tough days as more and more travelers take to the skies in Europe for the start of their summer holidays. The Irish Air Line Pilots Association (IALPA) has declared a five-day “work-to-rule” protest to protest over the lack of progress in the salary talks with the airline.

Pilots will refuse to work overtime between Wednesday, June 26 and Sunday, July 2, and alongside this a fully-fledged strike will take place on Saturday, Jun. 29 between 5 a.m. and 1 p.m. BST, affecting approximately 15,000 passengers.

The airline has pre-emptively canceled over 200 flights during the affected period, affecting travel plans of more than 35,000 passengers.

New talks planned to avert industrial action

The Union is asking for a 24% pay rise across the next three years, which they claim is due to recoup the purchasing power eroded by inflation since the last agreement signed in 2019. The airline is offering a 12.5% increase, which could become more substantial if “improvements in efficiency and flexibility” are discussed, Belfast Live reports.

Despite the distance between the two parties and the very tight deadline, IALPA and Aer Lingus are meeting on Tuesday at Ireland’s Labour Court in Dublin to understand if the industrial action can be averted, The Irish Sun reports.

In the meantime, Aer Lingus says it has arranged alternative plans for 80% of passengers affected, who have either found alternative flights or been issued a refund. Aer Lingus is an E.U. carrier and as such it is required to comply with E.U. Regulation 261/2004 which regulates passengers’ rights in case of cancelations or delays. However, industrial actions affecting flight operations are considered causes outside the airline’s control, and therefore no cash compensation is due to affected passengers, but the airline is still responsible for providing alternative options or a full refund.

Vanni Gibertini

Author

  • Vanni Gibertini

    Vanni fell in love with commercial aviation during his undergraduate studies in Statistics at the University of Bologna, when he prepared his thesis on the effects of deregulation on the U.S. and European aviation markets. Then he pursued his passion further by obtaining a Master’s Degree in Air Transport Management at Cranfield University in the U.K. followed by holding several management positions at various start-up carriers in Europe (Jet2, SkyEurope, Silverjet). After moving to Canada, he was Business Development Manager for IATA for nine years before turning to his other passion: sports writing.

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