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25/09/2021

BREAKING: Aer Lingus set to close Shannon Airport base

Aer Lingus is to incease its capacity from Shannon to Heathrow

Aer Lingus is set to close its base at Shannon Airport

MORE than 100 staff at Shannon Airport are facing redundancy with Aer Lingus set to permanently close its base there.

The flag-carrier airline confirmed the news in a statement, released this afternoon, with the move set to lead to the redundancy of cabin crew and ground staff.

It will put increasing pressure on Shannon Airport, which since the start of Covid-19 has seen its passenger numbers decimated.

Some 81 cabin crew work for Aer Lingus and are attached to Shannon, with 45 more based on the ground.

Aer Lingus has confirmed the ground staff will be laid off, with the option for some cabin crew in Shannon transferring to Dublin should they wish to.

The firm has warned the level of lay-off may by subject to further extension or change based upon work requirements.

It's unclear is what the move will mean for routes from the base.

Pre-pandemic, Aer Lingus operated a number of services to Europe and North America.

Its key service linked Shannon to London Heathrow Airport. All of these have been grounded since March 2020.

Through the pandemic, it continued its operations out of Cork and Dublin airports.

The letter suggests its base in Shannon has been “inefficient” and “out of line” for some time, with the firm suggesting it will open a voluntary redundancy package which could see Shannon Airport staff redeployed to Dublin.

In a statement, an Aer Lingus spokesperson said: "Structural change will also be required across the business. The required structural changes will be specific to each business area but will focus primarily on the areas where there is off-market pay, terms, conditions and work practices."

Aer Lingus confirmed to staff that the airline will emerge smaller from the pandemic and there will be a requirement for redundancies.

"Aer Lingus has commenced discussions with Unions representing employees in Aer Lingus regarding both the immediate and structural changes that need to be implemented," the firm's statement added.

The Forsa union is seeking immediate talks with Aer Lingus, with Ashley Connolly, who heads its services and enterprises division saying: "Since Covid struck, we have fought hard to maintain links between staff and their employer so that Aer Lingus and other airlines are ready to bounce back once international travel starts to resume. The Government needs to decide if the crisis in this vital industry is to be permanent or temporary. Only the State has the power and resources to preserve Ireland’s vital international connectivity – the connectivity that supports thousands of businesses and hundreds of thousands of jobs – over the coming months, and possibly years."

Aer Lingus has also announced a continued temporary base closure at Cork Airport.

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