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Aer Lingus To Close Its Shannon Airport Base

Published on May 19 2021 11:02 AM in General Industry tagged: Featured Post / Aer Lingus / Cork Airport / Shannon Airport / Shannon Group

Aer Lingus To Close Its Shannon Airport Base

Aer Lingus has announced that it intends to close its Shannon Airport base. As reported by The Irish Times, Aer Lingus will offer the 81 cabin crew members who are based at Shannon Airport either e...

Aer Lingus has announced that it intends to close its Shannon Airport base.

As reported by The Irish Times, Aer Lingus will offer the 81 cabin crew members who are based at Shannon Airport either enhanced redundancy or, where feasible, a transfer to Dublin Airport, and approximately 45 ground crew members who are based at Shannon and are already without work will remain laid off.

The permanent closure of Aer Lingus's Shannon Airport cabin crew base reportedly does not mean that the airline will not restart flights from the airport in the future, but it will no longer base any cabin crew members at the airport.

The Irish Times quotes Aer Lingus as saying, "Aer Lingus confirmed to staff that the airline will emerge smaller from the pandemic and there will be a requirement for redundancies."

A statement from the airline reportedly said that it has started talks with unions including SIPTU and Fórsa about immediate and structural changes as it continues to grapple with COVID-19-related restrictions.

Aer Lingus reportedly warned that there is potential for additional lay-offs, and said that it is reviewing ground-handling needs at Shannon Airport and Cork Airport, and it will keep staff on reduced working hours and pay.

Aer Lingus Chief People Officer Statements

According to The Irish Times, Aer Lingus chief people officer Brian Bowden told Tánaiste Leo Varadkar in a notice about the likely job losses that Shannon Airport has been inefficient and out of line with the market for a significant period of time.

The Irish Times quotes Bowden as saying in his notice to the tánaiste, "Aer Lingus has suffered very significant damage as a result of the Covid-19 crisis, particularly as travel restrictions in Ireland have been more stringent than in any country in Europe."

According to The Irish Times, Bowden's notice to the tánaiste also stated that Aer Lingus lost €361 million last year, and an additional €103 million during the first quarter of 2021, and added that the airline could cut more jobs at Cork Airport and that it is considering reopening voluntary redundancy for staff at Dublin Airport.

A Need To Be More Cost-Efficient And Productive

According to rte.ie, Aer Lingus said that the cumulative impact of the COVID-19 crisis over the past 15 months has caused a need for immediate actions and structural changes to make the airline more cost-efficient and productive, and The Irish Independent quotes the airline as saying in a statement, "The airline must be more cost-efficient and productive in order to generate the cash required to rebuild its financial health."

Shannon Group CEO Statement

Responding Aer Lingus's announcement that it intends to close its Shannon Airport base, CEO of Shannon Airport operator Shannon Group Mary Considine said in a statement published on both Shannon Airport's website and Shannon Group's website, "Our thoughts are with the Shannon based Aer Lingus employees impacted by this decision. It is extremely disappointing news for them.

"This announcement highlights once again the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic across the aviation sector here. Restoring regional connectivity and international travel will be pivotal to economic recovery as we emerge from the effects of the pandemic. Critical to this will be the urgent implementation of a clear road map and timelines for the restart of aviation.

"Aer Lingus remains a valued partner for Shannon Group, and we value our long-established and continuing relationship with the airline. We are committed to working with them and all our aviation partners on the restoration of vital services to and from Shannon Airport which are critical for business and tourism sectors."

Planned Temporary Closure Of Cork Airport Base

As reported by The Irish Times, rte.ie and The Irish Independent, Aer Lingus also intends to close its Cork Airport base temporarily from September of this year. As reported by The Irish Times and rte.ie, the airline intends to close its Cork Airport base from September until late November. As reported by rte.ie, the planned temporary closure is due to a planned closure of Cork Airport's main runway from September until late November.

Cork Airport recently announced that it is planning to close its main runway from September 12 until November 22 to reconstruct it.

According to The Irish Times, Aer Lingus intends to temporarily lay off 198 crew and ground staff at Cork Airport during the period of its planned temporary closure of its Cork Airport base.

© 2021 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.

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