Aer Lingus must cut costs or fail

Ireland’s Aer Lingus must push through severe cost savings announced earlier this month if it is to survive, the country’s transport minister and 25 per cent stake-holder Noel Dempsey said yesterday. Aer Lingus, which has  rapidly been burning through its cash reserves, is to cut almost a fifth of its 4,000 staff to reduce annual operating costs by €97m (£88.6m) by 2011. But its shareholder structure has been a stumbling block to reform and could hamper the implementation of the plan, which the airline wants to complete by 18 November.