herald

Monday 20 August 2018

Storm clouds not gone

If a week is a long time in politics, 18 months is an eternity in the aviation industry.

When Aer Lingus negotiated the Greenfield Agreement a year and a half ago, their talks with Impact went late into the night.

Early in the morning it was clear that the Impact side was not sure what had been agreed.

Deadlines were sorted. Details parked. The problem was it included points such as six days on, one day off and rostering.

There was another difference. At the time Aer Lingus finalised its cost-cutting deal, pilots were plentiful so the terms of the agreement were different. Pilots are now in short supply.

And a row with the cabin crew was allowed to pass. They never officially went on strike, but did the equivalent of a green flu.

Pilots have their own green flu landing on us next week.

The action is not really a full strike, but it will be just as devastating for Aer Lingus schedules. It will also hit forward bookings.

It is a recognition of a changed aviation industry that talks broke down last night.

We are still unlikely to have a strike next week. The message to Aer Lingus management is that the game has changed, and the trade unions that were a thorn in the side of previous Aer Lingus bosses have not gone away.

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