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Chaos ahead as Aer Lingus cancels flights

AIR passengers were facing days of chaos after Aer Lingus was forced to cancel 10pc of its flight schedule due to the growing staff protests.

The company confirmed that approximately 180 cabin crew members have now been struck off the payroll due to the ongoing dispute.

As many as 4,000 passengers were affected during the dispute over new work practices when the airline cancelled 51 flights last week.

Staff at the airline disagree with the company's new rosters which were brought in by management to achieve 850 hours annual flying time.

Aer Lingus claims that the changes are in keeping with international practice.

But employees, represented by Impact trade union, said that there are a number of elements which they have not agreed to -- including working double shifts, changes to rosters and meal breaks.

And at the beginning of the week, management removed close to 200 of its cabin crew members for refusing to work.


There was a temporary break in the dispute between Thursday and yesterday as the airline ran a full schedule by leasing aircraft and crew from carriers including Ryanair.

But Impact said that this measure was costing the company as much as €400,000 a day.

Aer Lingus confirmed that a continuation of the dispute could have 'a potentially significant impact' on its financial performance.

But yesterday it assured the stock exchange that the cost of hiring in planes and crews from other airlines is 'not material' at the moment.

Aer Lingus said it was trying to keep disruption to a minimum by cancelling routes with numerous daily flights so it could re-accommodate passengers on later flights as quickly as possible.

It said that it would continue to lease aircraft and crews from other airlines, but it refused to reveal how much that would cost.