12 June 2014 at 08.20 GMT
Aer Lingus today warned that 2014 profits will be as much as 20% down on last year due to the impact of threatened strikes.
The profit warning came after two walkouts planned for next week by Irish public sector workers’ union Impact were deferred following intervention by the Labour Court in Dublin.
The airline was targeted for industrial action by cabin crew over Irish bank holiday weekend at the start of the month.
The dispute centres on rosters, which the cabin crew say are erratic, exhausting and make family life difficult.
The threatened strikes were expected to disrupt the travel plans of up to 70,000 passengers.
The airline said this morning: “Aer Lingus welcomes the indication given last night by Impact, following an intervention by the Labour Court yesterday, to defer the further two days of strike action that had been called for 16 and 18 June 2014.
“This deferral is to allow consideration of an interim recommendation to be issued by the Labour Court today.
“However, the threat of this strike has caused significant damage to Aer Lingus’s trading and forward bookings for several months into the future.
“This has been particularly noticeable in recent days following increased media coverage and commentary.
“In this context, and assuming that no further strikes are threatened, Aer Lingus now expects that its 2014 operating profits (before net exceptional items) will be 10% to 20% lower than last year.
“The outcome will depend in part on the speed with which we can win back customer confidence.”
Aer Lingus added that it continues to engage with Impact under the auspices of the Labour Court to resolve this matter.
The airline said last month that it had seen positive trading in April which enabled it to maintain its guidance that 2014 operating profits would be in line with last year, despite the adverse effect of the strike called by Impact for the June bank holiday weekend.
Sourced from Travel Weekly