Aer Lingus Labour Court hearing adjourned

Pilots seeking pay increases of more than 20%

The Labour Court has adjourned a hearing into an Aer Lingus pilots’ pay dispute until next week.

The Irish Airline Pilots’ Association (Ialpa) is seeking increases of more than 20 per cent which it says will cover inflation and bring pay at Aer Lingus into line with rivals.

Aer Lingus is contesting the claims and maintains that it cannot offer more than the 8.5 per cent boost tabled by an internal company pay tribunal, which pilots rejected earlier this year.

The Labour Court adjourned a hearing into the dispute until next Monday after a session lasting several hours on April 22nd.


Talks aimed at avoiding the need to go to the court ended last week without resolution. The company and union previously met at the Workplace Relations Commission.

Ialpa maintains that its members have not had a pay increase since 2019, a claim that Aer Lingus disputes.

Other groups within the company have accepted pay rises of 12.25 per cent from the internal tribunal. That body discounted the offer to pilots to take extra flexibility on summer leave agreed in 2019 into account.

Aer Lingus maintains that the delivery of new Airbus jets from its owner, International Airlines Group, depends on the dispute’s resolution.

The carrier last week said it would be unlikely to receive the first of these, due to begin flying in September, as talks this month had failed to end the deadlock.

Ialpa says it supports growth at Aer Lingus, but argues that this cannot come at the expense of its members’ pay and conditions.

Ahead of Monday’s hearing, Ialpa accused the airline of bidding to weaken its negotiating position.

Mark Tighe, the union’s president, accused management of attempting to weaken Ialpa’s negotiating position in a letter to members sent as the sides prepared for the hearing.

His letter noted that Aer Lingus has written to union members individually about the dispute in a “tactic that will not work with our united pilot body”.

He added that the union’s executive will continue to seek a basic pay increase that reflects sharp rises in the cost of living and rates in other European airlines.

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O’Halloran covers energy, construction, insolvency, and gaming and betting, among other areas