Aer Lingus accepts proposed pay rise for pilots

Airline pilots wearing a black uniform with a hat and gold embellishments hold blue signs saying 'No pilots no profits'
Aer Lingus pilots have been staging an indefinite work-to-rule action since June [PA Media]

Aer Lingus has said it will accept a 17.75% pay rise for its pilots recommended by the Republic of Ireland's Labour Court

The pilots, who are represented by the Irish Air Line Pilots' Association (IALPA), began staging their indefinite work-to-rule protest on 26 June.

Since then, hundreds of flights have been cancelled and travel plans for tens of thousands of passengers have been disrupted.

The work to rule action by pilots will continue, until they are balloted on whether or not to accept the deal.

The court's recommendation, released on Monday, covers a four year period from 1 January 2023 to December 2026.

The IALPA has said it will convene a meeting of its executive in the next 24 hours to consider the Labour Court’s recommendation.

Donal Moriarty, corporate affairs officer at Aer Lingus, told Irish broadcaster RTE: "We've reviewed the recommendation of the Labour Court today and Aer Lingus has decided to accept it.

"There are aspects of the recommendation that we'll need to consider over the longer term in terms of its implementation and we also need to consider the impact that this dispute has had on Aer Lingus."

'Exceptionally complex dispute'

The IALPA said after its executives considers the pay recommendation, the union will commence preparations for a ballot of its members.

IALPA president Captain Mark Tighe said: “In advance of preparations for a ballot - and during which the current work-to-rule is set to continue – the union will ensure pilots are fully apprised of the details of the Labour Court’s recommendation."

He added: "This has been an exceptionally complex dispute, reflected in the Court’s decision last week to utilise its legislative powers to investigate the matters in dispute.

“Several of our executive officers are on flight duty today, so we’re currently preparing for the full executive to meet within the next 24 hours."

Pilots had initially asked for a 24% pay rise to take inflation levels into consideration since their last pay increase in 2019.

However, the airline is reportedly seeking changes to the pilots' working conditions before it will agree to any pay rise above 12.25%.

The Labour Court has recommended that the 17.75% increase be awarded as follows:

  • 2% with effect from 1st January 2023

  • 1.75% with effect from 1st July 2023

  • 2% with effect from 1st October 2023

  • 3.5% with effect from 1st January 2024

  • 1.5% with effect from 1st October 2024

  • 3% with effect from 1st January 2025

  • 3% with effect from 1st January 2026

  • 1% with effect from 1st July 2026

File photo dated 30/05/15 of an Aer Lingus plane at Dublin Airport
Aer Lingus has said it will review the recommendation of the Labour Court [PA Media]

Last week, the court heard from both the union and Aer Lingus in a meeting that lasted more than eight hours.

The court had asked that there be no escalation of the dispute, but the current work-to-rule by Ialpa members remains in place.