Aer Lingus to slash hundreds of jobs in a bid to cut costs

Aer Lingus is to slash hundreds more jobs in a drastic bid to cut costs.

Chief executive Christoph Müller said the Irish airliner would 'immediately' begin cutting routes and ordering compulsory redundancies after failing to come to an agreement with staff over cost-cutting proposals.

Members of the Irish pilots' union and cabin crew refused to sign up to Mueller's plans which would have seen wage, overtime rates and allowances cut, and pension arrangements removed altogether.

Grounded: The number of job losses at Aer Lingus could stretch to 1000

Grounded: The number of job losses at Aer Lingus could stretch to 1000

Almost a fifth of the airline's is likely to be cut in the move.

Mueller said he had come close to agreeing with most unions on a reform plan, but resistance remained from some groups, including pilots, who were asking for too much money.

He said: 'In the absence of real cost savings being delivered from all employee groups, we will have to resort to other measures.

'It is very likely redundancies will commence immediately and will be compulsory.'

Aer Lingus is battling to retain its independence, after fending off two hostile bids by Irish rival Ryanair.

The airliner had aimed to cut annual operating costs by €97m through reducing staff numbers by 676. But Mueller has now indicated the number of job losses could stretch to 1,000.

'The board and management will now move to reduce capacity, further eliminating routes which are loss-making as a result of our high cost base,' Mueller said in a statement.

'This will result in the operation of fewer aircraft, which in turn will lead to additional redundancies beyond those included in the Transformation Plan,' he said.

Mueller added that he is confident the airline can remain independent despite making €80million of losses in the first half of this year.

Shares in the firm rose 3.3 per cent on today's news – up €0.02 to €0.55.


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