Business Irish

Friday 29 August 2014

Bank holiday strike to cost Aer Lingus up to €10m

Anne-Marie Walsh, Industry Correspondent

Published 26/05/2014 | 02:30

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Up to 28,000 people were booked to fly on the day of the planned work stoppage next Friday, at the start of the bank holiday weekend.
Up to 28,000 people were booked to fly on the day of the planned work stoppage next Friday, at the start of the bank holiday weekend.

A disruptive strike by cabin crew at Aer Lingus this week is expected to cost the airline up to €10m in lost business.

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Up to 28,000 people were booked to fly on the day of the planned work stoppage next Friday, at the start of the bank holiday weekend.

Some 18,000 of these passengers have rebooked, or been refunded, as a result of the strike due to a row over rosters.

Aviation sources estimate that the direct impact of the strike will cost Aer Lingus at least €6m in lost business and hiring in aircraft and crews for extra flights.

However, a knock-on loss in business this week and next week could push that figure closer to €10m.

Aer Lingus recently revealed that gains in revenue it made last month have been wiped out due to the strike threat.

Cabin crew plan to mount pickets in a bid to get a 'five days on and three days off' roster, but the airline claims this is "unworkable".

The staff claim they have to work up to 60 hours in a seven-day period, resulting in shift patterns of six working days and one rest day, followed by six more working days.

However, the airline denies that staff have to work such a shift pattern.

There is little sign of a compromise being reached as IMPACT has said it will not call off the strike even if the Labour Relations Commission steps in to try to resolve the row.

The latest 'travel advisory' on Aer Lingus's website says it has had to cancel most of its flights on Friday due to industrial action.

Uncertainty

Passengers can rebook to another day up to June 9, or get a refund.

Extra flights have been added next Thursday and Saturday, which will be operated by hire-in aircraft and crews.

"We apologise to our customers for the uncertainty and inconvenience this unnecessary industrial action by IMPACT has caused," said the airline.

"We will do everything possible to minimise the disruption and we will communicate any further changes to customers via email, SMS, social media and broadcast media," the carrier added.

Irish Independent

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