MIAMI – Covid-19, a negative US$433m (€361m) fiscal year 2020, and Q1 2021 losses, already amounting to US$122m (€103m), have convinced or compelled Aer Lingus (EI), a member of the IAG Group, to abandon its Shannon (SNN) base.

As per a report by, the first consequence, a painful one, is the laying off of approximately 150 staff members out of which 81 are cabin crew stationed in SNN along with ground personnel. EI has also indicated that is commencing a complete review of its ground handling requirement in SNN as well as in Cork (ORK), another base where EI is planning redundancies.

"The required structural changes will be specific to each business area but will focus primarily on the areas where there is off-market pay, terms, conditions, and work practices." Aer Lingus Click To Tweet

The airline has also warned on the continuing reduced working hours and associated lay-offs and pay reductions while confirming to all staff that EI will “emerge smaller” from the pandemic crisis and “there will be a requirement for redundancies” It also added that the cumulative impact of the crisis over the past 15 months requires immediate action and structural adjustments.

Aer Lingus Airbus A321-200 EI-LRA – Photo : Johann Eske/Airways

Comments from officials

The Irish Prime Minister, Taoiseach in Irish, Micheal Martin, described the situation in SNN as “very sad” and added that travel was at rock bottom in Ireland and that a Cabinet decision on the subject was expected soon while assuring that resumption of travel was a top priority for the government plans on the subject.

On the critical situation affecting travel in the country, Capt. Evan Cullen, of the Irish Airline Pilots Association (IALPA), said, “Ireland remains an outlier in the European Union in having the most restrictive travel regime whilst simultaneously providing the least support to indigenous aviation and its workers.”  

Featured image: Aer Lingus Airbus 330-300 EI-FNG. Photo: Milan Witham/Airways