Sunday 22 April 2018

Aer Lingus CEO: Jobs won't be cut as long as company stays efficient

Stephen Kavanagh
Stephen Kavanagh newsdesk

The CEO of Aer Lingus has said that jobs at the airline will be maintained “as the company maintains its efficiency”.

Aer Lingus chief executive Stephen Kavanagh said that the vast majority of around €60m in potential savings that have been identified in a confidential report will be realised through savings in procurement and contracting.

His comments came after Opposition TDs yesterday revealed details of a review into the financial operations of the airline carried out by international aviation consultancy company Nyras.

The report recommended savings of about €60m, which it is feared could include cuts to pilot and cabin crew.

Speaking on RTE’s Morning Ireland Mr Kavanagh said that outsourcing “is not on the company’s agenda”.

“I have committed and stated publicly that our preference is for direct employment,” he said. “What we are looking to do is procure services efficiency.

Repeatedly pressed on whether he could guarantee jobs at the airline Mr Kavanagh said: “I can guarantee that as we maintain our efficiency that those jobs will be maintained and as growth delivered by the combination with IAg further improves our efficiency those jobs are more secure than ever.

"The vast majority of the €60m, in excess of 90% of the €60m, is related to simply more efficient use of contracts and the more efficient use of procurement."

Meanwhile, SIPTU members at Aer Lingus have claimed that management at the airline has agreed to establish a legally enshrined Registered Employment Agreement (REA) at the company which will commit it not to pursue an agenda of outsourcing and compulsory redundancies.

The union says that the commitment was made in correspondence last night to Business Minister Ged Nash, who informed the union of the company’s initiative.

SIPTU Divisional Organiser, Owen Reidy, said that the commitment must be confirmed before completion of the sale of the company.

“The commitment which the Minister received in a letter from Aer Lingus management last night is an important and critical matter for workers at the airline,” he said. “Obviously, it would be essential that it is set out and confirmed in a comprehensive, legally binding, manner as soon as possible and before the completion of the sale of the company to IAG.

“We have been consistent in this requirement from day one as the workers have made a huge contribution to the company and need to be assured that their jobs are secure into the future.”

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