Aer Lingus hires Ryanair planes and crew during cabin staff dispute

Irish airlines to lose $100 million

Aer Lingus, Ireland's national airline, will fly on a full schedule this week despite an ongoing dispute between its management and trade union staff.

The airline has hired interim crews and planes, leasing a total of nine aircraft and crews from its Irish rival Ryanair, and also from Monarch and Titan airlines.

It's understood that more than 100 cabin crew staff have been taken off the company payroll after they refused to work to new rosters unveiled by managment last week.

Meanwhile, Impact, the trade union representing the staff, told the press it had submitted 28 discrimination claims to the director of the Irish Equality Tribunal in response to the airline’s recent move.

Impact said the discrimination claims relate to whether or not the Irish airline breached equality laws, as the new hours reportedly had a greater impact on female staff, making it impossible for them to meet their family responsibilities.

However, Aer Lingus claimed the responsibility for the flight cancellations laid with the Impact trade union solely.

The airline said that 93 percent of staff had voted in favour of the so-called Greenfield agreement a year ago, which made it clear that airline staff would have to work 850 annual block hours.

In response, Impact said that the new rosters are in contravention of the Greenfield agreement, arguing that the cabin crew are prepared to work their agreed hours, i.e. their old rosters.