Aer Lingus is to permanently close its cabin crew base at Shannon airport as part of a series of cost-savings measures after warning there will be redundancies as it emerges smaller from the pandemic.
The IAG carrier will also temporarily close its base at Cork between mid-September and late November, has launched a review of its ground-handling requirements at both Cork and Shannon airports and will continue reduced working hours and associated pay reductions.
The airline has 81 cabin crew based at Shannon, who will be offered enhanced severance terms or, where possible, base transfer to Dublin. A further 45 ground staff at Shannon will remain laid off, while 198 staff at is Cork base will be temporarily laid off during the base closure between 12 September and 22 November.
Aer Lingus says the action is necessary as losses continue as a result of the pandemic. The Irish carrier lost a further €103 million ($126 million) in the first quarter, on top of a €361 million in 2020.
”Structural change will also be required across the business,” it says, noting talks have begun with unions. ”The required structural changes will be specific to each business area but will focus primarily on the areas where there is off-market pay, terms, conditions and work practices.
”Aer Lingus confirmed to staff that the airline will emerge smaller from the pandemic and there will be a requirement for redundancies.”
Speaking during IAG’s first quarter results briefing earlier this month, group CFO Steven Gunning described Aer Lingus as the “most challenged” operator within IAG in terms of its financial performance because Ireland “has a uniquely stringent set of travel restrictions”. The carrier’s total revenue was down 91% year on year in the first quarter, and its capacity remains driven by cargo needs.