Clare T.D and Chairman of the Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade Pat Breen has today (Wednesday) welcomed the announcement that the Labour Relations Commission has invited both sides in the Aer Lingus Cabin Crew dispute to talks on Friday.
“This is a positive development and I welcome the fact that both parties have accepted the Commission’s Director of Services Kevin Foley’s invitation to talks.
The restoration of the Aer Lingus all year round transatlantic services has the potential to provide a major winter boost for the Tourism and Business Sectors in this Region particularly given the Airports very strong performance during the summer when a combination of the Gathering and new services led to a 40% growth increase in its transatlantic traffic.
The decision to return all year round became possible through a deal Aer Lingus reached to lease three B757 aircraft which are smaller, more fuel efficient and are better suited to the routes given that the Airline had problems previously filling the larger A330 planes during the Winter.
Aer Lingus has a dedicated and loyal staff at Shannon Airport and their experience would prove invaluable for the Airline on these routes. That is why it is imperative that the Airline reaches an agreement with its staff to resolve the current impasse which is in the best interests of its staff, the Airline and the wider Region.
At the end of the day, the only way a dispute can be resolved is if both parties sit down around the table. I am pleased now that Aer Lingus have agreed to return to the table and I would urge both parties to use this time to find a mutually acceptable agreement which will remove the threat over the future of Airlines Crew Base at Shannon Airport and the restoration of these services.