Aer Lingus has cancelled 10-20% of flights over the period 26-30 June, after members of the Irish Air Line Pilots Association (IALPA) voted in favour of work-to-rule action following their rejection of a pay deal.

IALPA notified the IAG carrier of the indefinite industrial action on 18 June. Members had earlier rejected a Labour Court recommendation of a 9.25% pay rise, versus the 24% increase that the union is demanding.


Source: Minh K Tran/Shutterstock

Pilots are taking indefinite work-to-rule action

While IALPA argues that Aer Lingus can afford the pay increases after it posted “enormous profits” – including an operating profit of €225 million ($240 million) in 2023 – the carrier insists that the union has been demanding “an unsustainable level of increase in pilot pay that was not supported by any increases in productivity or flexibility”.

“Aer Lingus pilots are more than fairly compensated compared to the market,” the airline adds.

But IALPA president Capt Mark Tighe argues that pilots “are in this position because management have failed to provide us with a meaningful offer on pay that accounts for inflation and the sacrifices made by pilots to save Aer Lingus during the pandemic.

“Management keep insisting that pilots must sell their working conditions in exchange for any increase in pay.”

Aer Lingus warned on 20 June that the “insidious form” of the industrial action “is designed to severely disrupt passengers in the peak of the summer season”.

It expects more short-notice cancellations during the industrial action.

The Irish carrier claimed on 18 June that its efforts to engage in further discussions with the union have been rejected.