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26th Jun 2024

Thousands of Aer Lingus passengers face travel chaos as pilots start industrial action

Simon Kelly

Aer Lingus strikes

270 flights have already been cancelled.

Tens of thousands of passengers will face travel disruption in the coming days as Aer Lingus pilots have started industrial action as of today.

Members of the Irish Airline Pilots’ Association (IALPA) began an indefinite work-to-rule at midnight on Wednesday, June 26, as part of an ongoing pay dispute.

As part of the action, members will not work overtime or any other out-of-hours duties requested by management; will not accept or work any amendments to published rosters; and are also refusing to log on to Aer Lingus online portals outside of work hours or answer work phone calls outside of work hours.

270 flights have been cancelled so far by Aer Lingus because of the work-to-rule and a planned eight-hour strike on Saturday, June 29.

Thousands of Aer Lingus passengers face travel chaos as pilots start industrial action

Passengers have been warned that further flights may be cancelled in the coming days, even at the very last minute while they are at the gate waiting to board.

IALPA members voted 98.82% in favour of taking up industrial action last week, with just six of the 668 pilots voting against industrial action.

Pilots are seeking pay increases of 23.8% over three years and opted to strike after Aer Lingus refused to budge from their offer of a 12.25% increase.

Speaking on RTÉ‘s Morning Ireland, IALPA president Mark Tighe said pilots in the union “do not want to be in this situation”, however he did not rule out a full strike.

“I can only say that everything is on the table that hasn’t changed and that’s not going to change,” he said.

He added that pilots were in this situation due to executive management “espousing a particular level of corporate greed where they themselves have gotten a 66% increase but they won’t accept the reasonability of an accumulative inflationary pay increase.”

In the last few days, both sides have accused each other of nothing being willing to meaningfully engage with one another.

Captain Tighe accused the company of a entering a “union-busting” phase, where they are now attacking individual IALPA members.

It has also been reported that a perk allowing pilots to fly cheaply into Ireland to work for Aer Lingus has now been stopped as a result of the industrial action.

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Aer Lingus