Airline boss gets €390,000 of free shares
AER Lingus chief executive Christoph Mueller will receive free shares in the airline, currently valued at €392,000, simply for remaining employed there.
It recently emerged Mr Mueller got a bonus of almost €500,000 last year on top of his €483,000 basic pay for meeting targets under the airline's cost-reduction programme.
Sources said around 40 other managers were also paid bonuses under performance-related schemes, worth at least €200,000 in some cases.
But the airline yesterday refused to say how many executives received the payments or the total paid.
The 500,000 shares to be given to Mr Mueller later this year are part of a deal agreed when he joined the company in 2009.
The only condition was that Mr Mueller would still be employed by Aer Lingus on September 1, 2011.
He also has 1.5 million share options that he will be entitled to take up between 2012 and 2014 but he would have buy those shares.
Mr Mueller, however, will only be able to do that if Aer Lingus shares have been trading at a pre-determined level for a number of days.
The carrier also paid €6.25m to staff last year under a gainsharing agreement struck as part of the Greenfield cost-reduction programme.
The company employs about 3,500 full-time staff.
Last year, all the executive directors and senior management entitled to bonuses received the full amount possible.
Mr Mueller and other executives at Aer Lingus can earn substantial bonuses if they meet certain targets tied to the financial and non-financial performance of the airline.