Wednesday 13 December 2017

Aer Lingus grounds 22 more flights

Aer Lingus plans to continue cancelling 10pc of its flight schedule unless there is a breakthrough at talks with IMPACT over contentious new rosters. Photo: Getty Images
Aer Lingus plans to continue cancelling 10pc of its flight schedule unless there is a breakthrough at talks with IMPACT over contentious new rosters. Photo: Getty Images

Anne-Marie Walsh and Pat Flynn

AER Lingus passengers face further travel chaos as another 22 flights are grounded today.

Ten return flights between Dublin Airport and European destinations and a return flight between Shannon and Heathrow have been cancelled due to the cabin-crew dispute.

The airline plans to continue cancelling 10pc of its flight schedule unless there is a breakthrough at talks with IMPACT over contentious new rosters.

It is contacting customers by email and text message days before departure and reaccommodating them on later flights.

Talks continued at the Labour Relations Commission last night over the new rosters.

The airline has taken more than 300 cabin crew off the payroll for refusing to work new rosters that increase flying time and alter working conditions.

The airline wants to increase the cabin crews' weekly flying time to 16 hours.They are already working 15 hours per week, or 830 hours a year.

Although they agreed to work 850 hours, or 16 hours a week, in a ballot last year, staff are objecting to other changes.

These include amendments to the amount of rest time between flights.

IMPACT said the rest time between transatlantic flights has been halved to 12 hours.

The airline said this reduction was the minimum 'rest' time staff would get, but a full day's rest time was the norm.

IMPACT also complained about changes in the number of rostered days off.

The union claims meal breaks have been cancelled on all European flights, but the airline denies this and says it supplies meals for the crew that can be taken during flights.

The talks adjourned late last night and will resume this morning.

Meanwhile, hundreds of passengers were stranded in Shannon and Dublin last night after severe weather in the New York area forced cancellations.

Continental flights from Shannon to New York, and from Dublin to Newark were hit.

However the airline has confirmed that travellers have been rebooked to travel this morning and over the coming days.

Irish Independent

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