Aer Lingus Offers Customers Refunds As Pilots Eye Walkout

Date : 06/05/2011 @ 6:26AM
Source : Dow Jones News
Stock : Ryanair Holdings Plc ADS, Each Representing Five Ordinary Shares (MM) (RYAAY)
Quote : 112.92  0.0 (0.00%) @ 8:33AM

Aer Lingus Offers Customers Refunds As Pilots Eye Walkout

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DUBLIN Dow Jones)--Aer Lingus Group PLC (EIL1.DB), the Dublin-based airline, is advising customers holding reservations to switch or seek refunds after weekend talks that aimed to resolve a roster dispute between the Irish airline and its pilots broke down.

Most of its flights with the exception of services to and from Belfast, to and from Washington-Madrid and its regional services are likely to face major disruption from Tuesday morning, as pilot representatives Ialpa and Impact threaten labor action, Aer Lingus said Sunday. The Irish Airline Pilots Association, or Ialpa, is a branch of trade union Impact.

"At this point in time we cannot be certain that we will be able to operate our schedule from next Tuesday June 7," Aer Lingus said on its website. It is offering customers holding bookings from Tuesday June 7 through to Friday June 10 to switch free of charge or seek refunds online.

The dispute about rosters which has been rumbling for years centers on the decision by Aer Lingus to introduce new rosters for pilots that would meet agreed productivity targets. In recent weeks, the issue has been exacerbated by a shortage of pilots due to higher-than-expected levels of turnover in the U.K., Aer Lingus said last month.

The Irish government owns 25% of Aer Lingus. A panel set up to review government ownership of utilities and commercial enterprises advised the finance ministry earlier this year to sell off the stock market stake when market conditions improve.

-By Eamon Quinn, Dow Jones Newswires, +353 1 676 2189;

eamon.quinn@dowjones.com

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