IAG guarantees unconvincing

National secretary Matt Staunton addressing the Joint Oireachtas Committe on Transport about IAG's bid to take over Aer Lingus
National secretary Matt Staunton addressing the Joint Oireachtas Committe on Transport last week about IAG’s bid to take over Aer Lingus

IMPACT trade union, which represents pilots, cabin crew and some ground staff at Aer Lingus, has said that guarantees contained in a statement by IAG this afternoon (Monday 2nd February) about the future of Aer Lingus are unconvincing.

Responding to the statement, IMPACT national secretary Matt Staunton said that the measures set out in the IAG statement would do very little to ease the concerns of the growing number of stakeholders opposed to the potential takeover.

Mr Staunton said “A commitment not to sell the Heathrow slots is no guarantee that the use of the slots wouldn’t change. IAG would be able to change the use of these slots as they pleased, including a transfer of use to another airline, without having to sell them. Similarly, a commitment to maintain the slots on Irish routes for five years means we have no guarantees on connectivity to Heathrow beyond that time limit.

“What really stands out in the statement by IAG is the complete absence of any reference to jobs. We’ve highlighted a substantial risk of job losses at Aer Lingus if it’s acquired by IAG. There’s nothing in IAG’s statement that lessens our concerns about Aer Lingus jobs” he said.

Mr Staunton added “The opposition to the sale of the State’s share in Aer Lingus has developed to the point where trade unions, chambers of commerce, the tourism industry and multinationals trading in Ireland have all voiced their opposition to this takeover proposal. The UK is our biggest trading partner, and Heathrow is how the rest of the world connects to its capital city. The guarantees offered by IAG today are unlikely to quell that opposition.”