Aer Lingus removes pilot perk as talks continue over pay dispute

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Aer Lingus has stopped one of its pilot benefits as a result of continued industrial action over pay.

According to a report by Irish media outlet RTE, the airline has stopped pilots from accessing discounted tickets, a perk which extends to family members, after discussions with the Irish Air Line Pilots’ Association (IALPA) failed to resolve.

According to IALPA, an estimated 100 Aer Lingus pilots are based in the UK due to the high cost of living in Ireland and commute to the airline base using discounted flight tickets.

“Effective from June 26, 2024, all staff travel privileges, and tickets (including those already issued) for those IALPA / Forsa members who participate in this industrial action will be suspended until further notice along with any tickets for ‘qualified relatives’,” Aer Lingus said in a letter quoted by RTE.

On June 29, 2024, more than 500 IALPA Aer Lingus pilots conducted an eight-hour pilot strike, marching together and setting up a picket line at the entrance to Dublin Airport (DUB).

As a result, Aer Lingus canceled 120 flights and around 17,000 passengers were affected.

The association received international support from members in Boston, Seattle, along with Alaska Airlines pilots.

According to IALPA, Aer Lingus’ executive management pay package increased by 66% from 2019 to 2024, and the association is demanding that pilots also receive a raise.

IALPA said it had been in talks with the airline regarding pilot pay for almost two years.

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