Aer Lingus Strike gets more likely

Industrial action by staff at the former Irish National Airline, Aer Lingus, seems increasingly likely in the short term as recent talks broke down today between unions and management.

Siptu, the main union at the airline, said efforts to resolve the dispute over the circa €750 million deficit in the pension fund at Aer Lingus and the state owned Dublin Airport Authority ended at the Labour Relations Commission.

The union claimed the breakdown in the talks occurred when Aer Lingus representatives refused to meet unions representing the staff pension committees.



New Cork Airport Flights

Aer Lingus Regional, in partnership with Aer Arann, has announced an increased service at Cork Airport. The increased schedule will see visitors come to the Southern Irish airport from Manchester and Birmingham airports in the UK. The new schedule will be operated from october of this year.

Aer Lingus Regional is a franchise brand used for commuter and regional flights operated by Aer Arann on behalf of Aer Lingus. The partnership was first announced in January 2010 and since then has been adding routes.

Aer lingus launch first ever non-Irish route (Madrid-Washington)

Aer Lingus have announced a new route between Madrid and Washington DC which will commence in March 2010.

The route will be operated in partnership with United Airlines with whom Aer Lingus already operate code-share routes between the USA and Ireland since October 2008.

Aer Lingus also hinted that the pertnership with United Airlines may “may develop into a ‘broader and deeper’ joint venture”.

Tickets will be on sale in about 6 weeks and recruitment will be exclusively in the USA.

Irish Government rejects Ryanair bid for Aer Lingus

The Irish Government has decided not to sell its 25%  stake in Aer Lingus to Ryanair at the offer price of €1.40 per share,  Minister for Transport Noel Dempsey announced this afternoon.

The Minister said the decision was taken on the basis that the offer greatly undervalues the former national airline  and that the proposed mergerwould be likely to have a significant negative impact on competition in the aviation market.

Meanwhile, Ryanair has ruled out any significant upward adjustment in its €1.40 a share offer for Aer Lingus which is approaching its January 30th deadline.

Ryanair said it will only raise its €748 million cash offer if a substantial number of Aer Lingus owners say they would be willing to accept a higher offer.

Aerlingus to cut 1500 jobs, close Shannon and heathrow bases

Up to 1,500 jobs are to be lost at Aer Lingus in a dramatic new cost-cutting plan.

The plan, which includes outsourcing of the airline’s entire ground operation, was announced in a meeting with union representatives at Dublin Airport this afternoon.

The company’s bases at Shannon and Heathrow will be closed with staff being redeployed to Dublin or Cork airport, or made redundant.

The measures, which aim to save at least €74m a year, are due to come into affect from the first of December this year.