Friday 21 October 2016

Jobs safe at Aer Lingus says CEO Stephen Kavanagh, despite €60m cut plan

Aer Lingus Airbus A320
Aer Lingus Airbus A320

The CEO of Aer Lingus has said that jobs at the airline will be maintained “as the company maintains its efficiency”.

Aer Lingus chief executive Stephen Kavanagh said that the vast majority of around €60m in potential savings that have been identified in a confidential report will be realised through savings in procurement and contracting.

His comments came after Opposition TDs yesterday revealed details of a review into the financial operations of the airline carried out by international aviation consultancy company Nyras.

The report recommended cuts of about €60m, including  cutting pilots and cabin crew by 10pc each to make saving of €2.9m, while catering staff would be cut by 25pc for a €3.9m saving.

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The report also found Aer Lingus is at a disadvantage because the majority of its business is based in Dublin and Heathrow, where airport charges are higher.

The finding will raise concerns over the future of the  landing slots in Heathrow – which have been central to the €335m takeover bid by International Ailrines Group (IAG).

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The report recommends Aer Lingus take the approach of a low-cost carrier to efficiencies.

Aer Lingus last night insisted the document was not a “blueprint for job cuts” at the company but instead is “benchmarking analysis” aimed at assessing competitiveness versus comparable airlines.

“The list of targeted savings by category is being claimed by certain politicians to somehow relate to employment within Aer Lingus. This is not the case,” said a spokesman.

Speaking on RTE’s Morning Ireland today, Mr Kavanagh said that outsourcing “is not on the company’s agenda”.


“I have committed and stated publicly that our preference is for direct employment,” he said. “What we are looking to do is procure services efficiency.”

Repeatedly pressed on whether he could guarantee jobs at the airline Mr Kavanagh said: “I can guarantee that as we maintain our efficiency that those jobs will be maintained and as growth delivered by the combination with IAG further improves our efficiency those jobs are more secure than ever.

“The vast majority of the €60m, in excess of 90pc of the €60m, is related to simply more efficient use of contracts and the more efficient use of procurement.”

Meanwhile, SIPTU members at Aer Lingus have claimed that management at the airline has agreed to establish a legally enshrined Registered Employment Agreement, which will commit it not to pursue an agenda of outsourcing and compulsory redundancies.

The union says that the commitment was made in correspondence last night to Business Minister Ged Nash, who informed the union of the company’s initiative.

TDs are set to vote on the Aer Lingus deal today.

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