AER LINGUS STRIKES GIVING RYANAIR A GREAT BOOST AS AIRCRAFT LEASED AND SEATS BOOKED ON FLIGHTS

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By TESTCustomwebLP TESTCustomwebLP January 27, 2011 17:00

AER LINGUS STRIKES GIVING RYANAIR A GREAT BOOST AS AIRCRAFT LEASED AND SEATS BOOKED ON FLIGHTS

Aer Lingus has begun booking seats on Ryanair flights for passengers affected by its dispute over rosters with cabin crew.

Aer Lingus is also to lease a sixth aircraft from Ryanair as it continues to plug gaps in its schedule created by the dispute, which has resulted to date in the removal of 215 Aer Lingus staff from its payroll. It is expected that about 14 scheduled flights could be cancelled today as the dispute, which is now in its second week, continues to escalate.

As well as the leasing of aircraft from its rival, Aer Lingus has been booking flights, at a discount, on Ryanair’s scheduled services for passengers travelling to cities where both airlines operate.

Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary said yesterday the airline was also prepared to accommodate “walk-up” Aer Lingus passengers at airports who have had their flights cancelled at short notice.

“We’ll take as many of their passengers as we can fit on our flights,” he said.

O’Leary called on Aer Lingus to sack members of its cabin crew staff who are refusing to operate controversial new rosters that it introduced unilaterally last week. He said Ryanair would continue to support Aer Lingus in its dispute with cabin crew and their trade union Impact.

He also disputed claims from the union that Aer Lingus was spending €40,000 per round trip to lease aircraft from Ryanair to fly routes to the UK. “I wish,” Mr O’Leary said. “[We’re going] out and back to the UK and Europe for less than €10,000, although obviously it varies, depending on the length of the flight.”

O’Leary said Ryanair, which owns just under 30% of Aer Lingus, could make more aircraft available to its Irish rival. “We could provide more once we get into the middle of next week. If they need more aircraft, we will provide them with more aircraft.”

Ryanair has also ceased, for now, running newspaper advertisements mocking Aer Lingus’s 75 years of high fares, flight cancellations and strikes.

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By TESTCustomwebLP TESTCustomwebLP January 27, 2011 17:00
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