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Pilots at Aer Lingus agree to job and pay cuts

AER Lingus pilots last night agreed to a plan which will mean 76 voluntary redundancies and a 10pc pay cut. They gave provisional backing to a compromise hammered out by the Labour Relations Commission (LRC).

The IMPACT trade union on behalf of the IALPA (Pilots) branch said: "The meeting by a majority of 65pc accepted -- in broad terms -- Mr Mulvey's proposals in relation to the €30m in pilot cost savings.

"IALPA gave the membership an assurance that any final proposed agreement would be subject to ratification by way of secret ballot.

The loss-making airline will make a €6m saving through the salary reduction and a further €20m from the job losses.

Aer Lingus said the average pilot's salary is €150,000, although this rises to around €160,000 when performance-based pay is added.

The 500 pilots accepted the critical €30m cost cuts sought by the airline at a general meeting called by IALPA. But they have not accepted other proposals relating to their pension scheme. These centre on who is responsible for future deficits in the scheme, which has a shortfall of around €150m.

The cuts are part of the airline's overall €97m savings programme, of which €74m must come from staff costs.

The pilots are the last group to accept savings following similar talks with other workers, including cabin crew.

The new deal will mean pilots accept cuts in overtime, give up increments and accept an increase in their flying hours from 570 to 620 hours a year, without premium pay.

Irish Independent