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Pilots’ union recommends Aer Lingus pay deal


By PA News

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Aer Lingus pilots will be asked to accept a 17.75% pay increase in a ballot, following a recommendation by their representative body.

It comes after a work-to-rule, which began at the end of June, resulted in the airline cancelling hundreds of flights.

The 17.75% figure was recommended by the Labour Court following engagement with Aer Lingus and the Irish Air Line Pilots’ Association (Ialpa).

This is a very positive development for the travelling public and our tourism sector
Taoiseach Simon Harris

Ialpa leadership sought clarifications from the Labour Court over the non-binding recommendation and, following consideration of the terms, recommended that its membership accept them.

The pilot body will move immediately to suspend its ongoing work-to-rule action, in place since June 26, pending the outcome of a ballot.

The union will hold a series of engagements with members before a ballot on the terms of the Labour Court recommendation in the coming week.

Ialpa president Mark Tighe described the pay increase provided for in the recommendation as a significant win for pilots.

Taoiseach Simon Harris has welcomed the developments.

In a statement, he said: “I welcome the decision by Ialpa to suspend industrial action and recommend acceptance of the Labour Court proposal.

“This is a very positive development for the travelling public and our tourism sector.

“I have consistently stated that compromise and engagement was the only way forward.”

Aer Lingus planes at Dublin Airport as more flights were cancelled (Artur Widak/PA)
Aer Lingus planes at Dublin Airport as more flights were cancelled (Artur Widak/PA)

Aer Lingus welcomed Ialpa’s recommendation to its members to accept the deal, as well as the decision to discontinue industrial action.

It said: “We look forward to Ialpa completing the balloting process as soon as possible.”

Earlier, Aer Lingus cancelled 25 more flights next Monday and Tuesday and said it would contact affected customers.

It also said more cancellations would be announced on Thursday.

Hundreds of flights have been cancelled in the two weeks since the industrial action began, which has affected thousands of holidaymakers’ plans.

Aer Lingus said those affected by flight cancellations will be given the option to change their flights for free or to claim a refund or voucher.

Customers can check the flights affected on the Aer Lingus Travel Advisory page.

The airline said the industrial relations dispute had been “enormously damaging both financially and reputationally”.

The pilots had initially sought a pay increase of 24%, which they said equated to inflation since the last pay rise in 2019.

They had previously rejected a Labour Court recommendation for pay increases of 9%, but Ialpa had suggested the union would consider a pay increase below the 24% figure.

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