Aer Lingus CEO, Christoph Mueller, cautioned that the carrier risks being taken over by Ryanair if it is unable to reduce costs and successfully negotiate with its unions (Reuters, 09-Dec-2009). The carrier added that savings offered by the Irish Air Line Pilots' Association (IALPA) fell “significantly below” what is required (RTE, 09-Dec-2009). IALPA confirmed that Aer Lingus rejected a cost reduction package proposed by the pilots which would have amounted to EUR33 million p/a, through a combination of pay reductions and freezes and a 12-15% reduction in pilot numbers.
Aer Lingus has advised the Irish Enterprise, Trade and Employment Minister that it would seek 1,065 compulsory redundancies if it fails to reach agreement on its EUR97 million cost-cutting plan with its trade unions (Irish Times, 10-Dec-2009).
Aer Lingus: “If Aer Lingus isn’t capable of mastering its own destiny, then of course the likelihood that some form of non-independence might occur is more likely… One group of employees is resisting and bringing Aer Lingus closer to a situation where we might lose our independence,” Source: Reuters, 09-Dec-2009.