Aer Lingus delays results after cabin crew reject cuts

City A.M. Reporter
IRISH airline Aer Lingus will not publish its 2009 earnings today as planned so it can adjust provisions for cost-cutting measures that cabin crew rejected last week.

The Irish flag carrier said it would not publish full results until an unspecified date. It will issue a brief trading statement today instead.

Aer Lingus, which has fended off two hostile bids by Irish rival Ryanair, wants to reduce its annual operating costs by €97m euros (£87.7m) by shedding up to a fifth of staff.

The proposed plan to stop it burning through its cash reserves has been accepted by unions representing pilots, middle management and by some ground staff and cabin crew.

But cabin crew represented by the Impact union rejected the plan on Friday, and maintenance staff will only publish the result of their ballot today. Aer Lingus said it was determined to realise the planned cuts in any case.

“These savings are vital to realign the cost base of the company and position Aer Lingus for a successful future,” it said in a statement.

Aer Lingus is expected to announce a 2009 operating loss of €87.7m, in-house broker Goodbody said.

If it does not get agreement from unions, Aer Lingus has said it would push ahead with an alternative plan to streamline the company by imposing more redundancies, some on a compulsory basis.

“The board of directors will meet tomorrow to formally approve the steps that will now be taken to achieve these cost savings,” it said.