ON Friday Aer Lingus’s full year results were issued and showed the airline recorded an operating of loss of €361M in 2020. This represents the largest ever loss in the airline’s history and demonstrates the profound impact of Covid19. Increased travel restrictions in Ireland and across our network and the subsequent negative impact on demand for travel required us to review our network schedule and operations.
Aer Lingus has completed a review of the Shannon operation, and on the basis that no flights have operated to or from Shannon since 5th April 2020, Aer Lingus has concluded that it is not sustainable to continue to roster staff to the current levels when there is no work available. As a result, Aer Lingus has had to take the decision to place all 129 Inflight Service and Ground Operations staff in Shannon on temporary unpaid lay-off from 8 March 2021 until 7 June 2021. This may also be subject to further extension or change based on work requirements in Shannon.
Aviation planning has long lead-times and it is therefore imperative that a clear exit plan from the current restrictions is urgently developed. This will enable the restoration of Ireland’s connectivity as quickly as possible and ensure that the economy is supported to deliver the recovery that will be vital for the country. Government should engage proactively with all the relevant stakeholders to ensure that this plan is put in place.