Irish flag carrier Aer Lingus has put into service the first of three Boeing 757s it is damp-leasing from Air Contractors, a division of Dublin-based ASL Aviation Group.
Air Contractors is operating the 757 on Aer Lingus’s daily Shannon-Boston route. Two additional aircraft of the type will be used for the airline's six-times-weekly Shannon-New York and daily Dublin-Toronto routes.
All three aircraft are configured with 177 seats – 165 in economy class and 12 in business – and will be operated with Air Contractors pilots and Aer Lingus cabin crew.
“Our partnership with ASL Aviation Group forms a major part of Aer Lingus’s plans to grow our transatlantic operations very significantly in 2014,” says airline chief Christoph Mueller.
In November 2013, Shannon-based Aer Lingus cabin crew represented by trade union Impact voted in favour of proposals drawn up to end a dispute over staffing on transatlantic flights.
Impact members had earlier voted for industrial action in response to the airline’s decision to outsource cabin crew on transatlantic services with the loss of 87 flight attendant jobs at the Shannon base. This in turn had followed union rejection of a move to reduce the number of cabin crew members per aircraft from five to four.
The settlement, brokered by the Irish Labour Relations Commission, dictated that the transatlantic operation would start with five cabin crew members and that a comprehensive joint review would take place in July 2014 to consider patterns of traffic across the year and whether crewing arrangements should respond to seasonal factors.