The Irish Airline Pilots’ Association (IALPA) is pushing Dublin-based CityJet to retain its 57 pilots here as they face redundancy.
CityJet, which is in examinership, last week said it’s seeking up to 700 redundancies across Europe as the coronavirus pandemic batters the global aviation industry. Up to 276 of those job losses will be in Ireland and the UK. It employed close to 1,200 people prior to the crisis, 400 of them based in Dublin.
Almost all of CityJet’s activity is outside Ireland. It was operating a service on behalf of Aer Lingus between Dublin and London City Airport, but that contract has been cancelled.
It also operates services on behalf of SAS.
The union said it had proposed alternative approaches to CityJet, including a proposed 50pc salary cut for pilots and a suspension of all labour agreements in order to facilitate cost reductions. It said it had also offered “complete flexibility” until flights resumed.
IALPA operates under the umbrella of trade union Fórsa. CityJet has started a 30-day consultation period with IALPA under collective redundancy legislation.
“Our aim was to retain a connection between the airline and its employees in anticipation of a return to growth,” said Fórsa official Ian McDonnell.
“It is a uniquely difficult situation, but pilots clearly indicated they were prepared to make significant sacrifices in order to keep the Dublin base operation-ready,” he added. “They are currently on the government wage subsidy scheme, receiving €350 per week with no top up from CityJet.”
“Despite the alternative approach we offered, it’s become clear that CityJet intends to crew its Irish registered aircraft out of Dublin with employees based in Denmark and possibly other Scandinavian bases,” he insisted.
Last week, CityJet executive chairman and founder Pat Byrne lamented the difficulties now facing the carrier.
“CityJet has operated from Dublin for almost 27 years so this is a sad time for us as we must react to market conditions and enter into an enforced downsizing of our core infrastructure," he said.
Mr McDonnell said the airline is due to provide additional information to IALPA following a meeting yesterday.