Airline strike looms after hurricane grounds transatlantic flights

Mike Dwane

Reporter:

Mike Dwane

FLIGHTS between Shannon and New York and New Jersey were cancelled on Tuesday as the American east coast was battered by the remnants of Hurricane Sandy.

FLIGHTS between Shannon and New York and New Jersey were cancelled on Tuesday as the American east coast was battered by the remnants of Hurricane Sandy.

British Airways business class only service from London to New York JFK - which makes a refuelling stop in Shannon - was also grounded but Aer Lingus services between Shannon and Boston operated as normal, as did an inbound flight from Toronto.

United Airlines had earlier cancelled services from Newark and while the outlook is better for Wednesday, all passengers intending to cross the Atlantic have been urged to contact their airline.

Meanwhile, trade unions representing Aer Lingus workers were meeting in Dublin on Tuesday to discuss potential industrial action that could cause more widespread disruption at Shannon in the coming weeks.

It follows the breakdown in negotiations with the company over a €750 million deficit in their pension scheme. Co-ordinated action from the unions has the potential to ground services from Shannon to the USA and Heathrow. Clare TD Timmy Dooley has called on Transport Minister Leo Varadkar to intervene to avert a strike.