Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

Aer Lingus pilots begin industrial action

Aer Lingus pilots have begun an indefinite work-to-rule (Niall Carson/PA)
Aer Lingus pilots have begun an indefinite work-to-rule (Niall Carson/PA)

Industrial action by Aer Lingus pilots that has already seen 270 flights cancelled has begun.

The indefinite work-to-rule commenced at midnight with pilots now refusing to work overtime, accept changes to set rosters, or take on out-of-hours management requests.

An eight-hour strike is also planned for Saturday.

The travel plans of tens of thousands of passengers have been affected, with the airline having been working to offer refunds or alternative flights to those whose trips have been axed.

At Terminal 2 of Dublin Airport on Wednesday morning, Aer Lingus passengers whose flights were not cancelled were in good spirits.

Audrey from Galway, who was headed to Bilbao with her family, said she had received an email on Saturday to say their flight was going ahead, which reassured them.

“But between last Wednesday and Saturday it was very upsetting, wondering whether we’d be able to go,” she said.

“It’s our one family holiday of the year and obviously we wanted it to go ahead because otherwise there would be a lot of consternation in the house. So we’re happy ours is going ahead, and feel sorry for anyone else who isn’t able to go today.”

She said they were flying back with Aer Lingus, and had an extra few days off before they returned to work.

“We’re just willing to wing it and see how we go. We had checked alternative flights and even ferries if this hadn’t gone ahead, just in case. But once we’re there, we’ll be happy,” she said.

“The thought of not getting there is the issue, but once you’re there you’re relaxed.”

Asked about whether she supported the industrial action, she said it seemed to her that there was a good offer on the table.

“I suppose I’m probably not as incredibly angry as someone whose flight has been cancelled, but I think it is difficult to sympathise with the pilots to be honest with you, because they are well paid to begin with,” she said.

Diarmuid, who is from Dublin and travelling to France, said the pilots “had to do it at some stage”.

“I can see the justification for it. If it’s an all-out strike then we’re in awful trouble, but this work-to-rule has allowed a certain amount of flow of passengers. I’d love more transparency from the company about profit levels,” he said.

Catherine, who is from Dublin but lives in Minnesota, in the US, said her flight was not affected, but that she had been “anxious” coming up to the flight.

“I think it’s rotten because it affects so many families going on holidays, but they do it because that’s the height of negotiations. I really feel for families,” she said.

“If you are making record profits, you should give back to the people who took a nosedive during Covid, but you also can’t be greedy.”

Another woman who is flying to the US said she had been anxious in the run up to Wednesday and had had a “wait-and-see approach”.

“I didn’t think they would resolve it, because I can’t see them getting what they want, truthfully. I feel sorry for the cabin crew and the ground crew,” she said.

Asked if she was flying back with Aer Lingus, she said “hopefully”.

A resolution to the bitter dispute over pay does not look imminent after the Irish Labour Court told both sides on Tuesday it will not be intervening at the present time.

The airline and the Irish Air Line Pilots’ Association (Ialpa), a branch of the Forsa trade union, have been involved in a heated exchange of words in recent days, with each accusing the other of not engaging.

The pilots are seeking a pay increase of 24%, which they say equates to inflation since the last pay rise in 2019.

Aer Lingus has said it is willing to offer pay increases of 12.5% or above if “improvements in productivity and flexibility” are discussed.

Both sides agreed to attend separate meetings at the Labour Court in Dublin on Tuesday to provide briefings on the industrial stand-off.

After its meeting, Aer Lingus said it was “disappointed” the court had assessed that it could not currently assist to bridge the gap between the sides.

“Aer Lingus has made it clear that it remains available for discussions both directly and through the state’s industrial relations framework,” the airline’s statement added.

“Aer Lingus will continue to focus on minimising the disruption caused to customers by Ialpa’s industrial action.

“Aer Lingus is calling upon Forsa/Ialpa to consider the damage that its continued industrial action is inflicting upon passengers, the company and the Irish economy.”

Aer Lingus industrial action
Irish Air Line Pilots’ Association president Mark Tighe said the action would continue ‘until there is a resolution’ (Gareth Chaney/PA)

Emerging from the court, Ialpa president Mark Tighe made clear the action would proceed.

“The actions continue as they are notified and will continue until there is a resolution,” he said.

Irish premier Simon Harris has asked both sides to “dig deep” in an attempt to come to a resolution.

The Taoiseach said it is “absolutely vital” that both sides engage in talks to find a resolution.

“My challenge to the parties now is to bring that engagement forward, rather than putting people through a prolonged period of agony and chaos, and then engaging in the end anyway,” Mr Harris said on Tuesday.

“This dispute will be settled the same way every dispute is settled: compromise, engagement, sitting around a table. That’s what needs to happen.”

He said there would be “very little sympathy” for anybody involved in cancelling family holidays and disrupting the tourism sector if they are not engaging “intensively”.