The number of job losses at Aer Lingus could reach 600 as the airline continues to be adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to its chief executive, Donal Moriarty.
As reported by The Irish Times, Moriarty, who will be replaced as CEO by Lynne Embleton on April 6, warned of further job losses after Aer Lingus recorded a loss of €563 million for 2020.
Moriarty said that the airline is discussing voluntary redundancy with 250 employees, two thirds of which were among 500 staff members who opted to leave last year, and, on that basis, Moriarty confirmed that the final number of jobs cuts at Aer Lingus is likely to be between 500 and 600.
The airline said last year when it announced restructuring plans that there would be 500 job cuts.
Temporary Unpaid Leave For 129 Employees Based At Shannon Airport
Moriarty's warning of further job cuts was followed by an announcement that Aer Lingus will place 129 inflight service and ground operations employees based at Shannon Airport on unpaid leave from March 8 until June 7.
The airline added that these dates are subject to change depending on work requirements at the airport.
The Irish Times quotes Aer Lingus as saying, "Aer Lingus has completed a review of the Shannon operation, and on the basis that no flights have operated to or from Shannon since April 5th, Aer Lingus has concluded that it is not sustainable to continue to roster staff to the current levels when there is no work available."
Proposals To Operate Transatlantic Flights From Manchester
Moriarty also said that Aer Lingus is continuing with proposals to begin operating flights from Manchester to Boston, Florida and New York.
The Irish Times quotes him as saying, "We are working through two regulatory processes in the UK with the Civil Aviation Authority and in the US with the Department of Transportation. We hope to launch those services later in the year."
2020 Revenues, Spending Cut And Loans
Aer Lingus's €563 million loss last year followed profits of over €270 million in 2019.
Its revenues decreased by 78% year-on-year to €467 million last year. However, its cargo revenues increased by 63% to €88 million.
Additionally, Aer Lingus cut its spending by over €800 million last year, including by reducing its staff costs by €188 million to €217 million; it borrowed €150 million from the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund, €75 million of which it drew down in December; and its parent company, International Airlines Group (IAG), which experienced a record €7.4 billion loss last year, loaned it €50 million.
IAG Chief Executive Statements
IAG chief executive Luis Gallego said that the IAG will continue to back Aer Lingus's long-term growth as well as its plans to develop its Dublin Airport base as a transatlantic hub, and noted that Aer Lingus gave the best return on investment of all of IAG's airlines.
Gallego also stated, "As things come back in place, we would expect to continue with the development of the Dublin hub."
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