MIAMI – Aer Lingus (EI) may offer staff unpaid leave in the next days, according to Willie Walsh, CEO of International Airlines Group (IAG), owner of the Irish carrier.

As a way to reduce the impact of 10 flight cancelations to Milan, Italy and low passenger traffic of last weeks, EI is considering options to combat the economic slowdown, such as giving staff time off and not leasing renovations of some aircraft.

EI’s recent actions to fit in a changing market

Walsh, also the owner of British Airways (BA), Iberia (IB) and Vueling (VY), said through IAG that there is a “pent-up demand” for staff part-time work across the carrier group.

Days ago, Ireland’s national carrier launched new uniforms as part of a new marketing campaign to refresh its image to expand as a major Europe’s competitor.

“Aer Lingus is currently looking for expressions of interest from Staff for part-time working or unpaid leave for the period 16th March until 30th June”, said Michael Kelly, Irish independent supplier of Aviation/Transport/Travel images in a tweet.

Following the suspension from March to April to the Italian northern region because low passengers demand, EI said it continued to fly to all destinations on its network as no one has been issued travel restrictions in accordance with authorities’ guidelines.

International Airlines Group’s Forecast

As a Europe and US service carrier, EI still does not have operations in Asia affected by any precautionary measures, but due to the COVID-19 other airlines of IAG do.

“In the first place, this is impacting long-haul in Asia, so that has implications for British Airways and for Iberia,” said Walsh as a prediction of the coronavirus’ impact on the commercial aviation industry. He forecasts more global and European carrier collapses over this year, too.

Nevertheless, in a less alarming tone, IAG’s CEO also added that the association expects that the situation will stabilize in a matter of weeks.