Crew ratios to be trialled

Airplane wings, representing airline pilots

The Labour Court has recommended that cabin crew ratios for new long-range aircraft at Aer Lingus should be trialled for three months to assess their workability. The recommendation concerns the new A321LR Neo aircraft.

Fórsa official Ashley Connolly said the proposal would see a trial of four crew on all routes for three months. Two routes would have five crew for the trial period, including a cabin services manager.

“The union’s argument at the Court was that the airline’s crewing proposal was unworkable, especially in relation to crew being able to take their breaks on certain flights,” she said.

The union met Aer Lingus management in mid-October and agreed that the trials would take place from November to January, with progress being kept under review.

The Labour Court recommended that there should be union involvement in the trials: “If we can’t reach agreement with Aer Lingus at the end of the trial period, we will go back to the Court using the data gathered from the trials. This has been accepted by both ourselves and Aer Lingus.

“We expect these trials to start in a couple of weeks and run until the end of January. We’ll be reviewing them with the company during this three-month period,” she said.

The trials will cover flights operating between Shannon and Boston, Dublin and Hartford, and Philadelphia and Newark.

Ashley added: “It’s also been agreed that while a senior may be rostered for the flight, they will be offered an acting CSM when operating a Neo during this period. As we discussed at the branch AGM in early October, we believe there’s still a bit of work to do on this issue.”

This story was first published in the Fórsa members’ news bulletin (Services & Enterprises edition) on Thursday 24th October 2019. The full bulletin is available here.