Aer Lingus mulls move to London or Belfast

Hotel News - 23/11/2009

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In a bid to lower the costs and hopefully avert the union problems faced by the aircraft, Aer Lingus is considering a move out of Ireland and into London or Belfast. It intends to move all its operations into one of the two UK cities.

The airline has applied for a UK operating license to the civil aviation authority in UK. If granted, this will mean an entire regroup of the staff. They could entirely start over as a new company and employees could be forced to reapply for jobs.

This condition comes into place as Aer Lingus is currently facing harsh criticism, and threat of strike action from its union groups. In tough negotiations, it has asked union groups to reduce around 676 jobs via voluntary retirement programmes. Aer Lingus has given its ultimatum to meet requirements as November 30th. If demands are unfulfilled, then it will reportedly be forced to reduce its staff size by compulsory layoffs and change in routes.

One of the main labour issues plaguing Aer Lingus currently happens to be the salary given to its long-haul pilots. These pilots have golden pension plans and reportedly earn as much as $500,000 per year. By relocating, the pilots will be forced to reply to the newly registered company, and may see some of their perks scaled down.

Aer Lingus is Ireland’s national flagship carrier. It happens to be the second largest airline in the Republic of Ireland following RyanAir. The company is said to employ a total of 4000 people. In the fiscal year of 2008, Aer Lingus reportedly made revenues of 1.4million euro.

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