Labor trouble grounds Aer Lingus

Aer Lingus BAe 146-300 EI-CLG

Aer Lingus operates eight BAe 146-300s, including EI-CLG, seen taxiing at Dublin recently (Martin O’Connell)

Facing a strike by its pilots, Irish airline Aer Lingus suspended operations on Thursday, 30 May. The pilots’ union, IMPACT, called the strike to protest against changes in work rules that the company instituted as part of its restructuring plan. Although the strike was called for a single day, the airline suspended operations indefinitely. Eventually, an agreement was reached when both sides accepted the recommendations of the nation’s Labour Court and flights resumed on 4 June. Under the recommendation, crew rest periods will be reduced from 13 hours to 12, rather than the 10 hours Aer Lingus had sought. Aer Lingus operates eight BAe 146-300s on routes from Dublin to UK regional airports. Two were to have been returned off-lease this spring, but the airline decided to retain them. While flights were suspended, all eight were parked at Dublin, along with the rest of the airline’s fleet.

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