Dublin-based pilots at CityJet will stage a protest today (Tuesday) at the airline’s offices in Swords as the company recommences flights with Irish registered aircraft but Dublin pilots remain grounded by temporary lay-offs. The protest is taking place in response to confirmation by CityJet that the planned closure of its Dublin base will mean the company will hire pilots from outside the state to fill resulting job vacancies, effectively offshoring the work of Dublin-based pilots.
The pilots, who are represented by IALPA, a branch of Fórsa, have said that a number of wide ranging proposals by pilots designed to keep some jobs at the Dublin base were all rejected by CityJet. These proposals included:
- Up to 50 per cent pay cuts until April 2021
- The termination of all terms and conditions to facilitate total flexibility
- An IALPA-designed a training plan to move pilots from one aircraft to another, which pilots say is a cheaper option than redundancy for the company.
Fórsa official Ian McDonnell explained: “CityJet intends to exit the examinership process flying 15 aircraft for SAS as part of the business plan, as it did prior to Covid-19. However these flights will resume without the Irish-based pilots flying the aircraft. Dublin-based pilots had been doing this work until the examinership process commenced in April.
The pilots had worked incredibly hard to develop alternatives to redundancy, which were designed to reduce costs and maintain some jobs in Dublin.
“We were informed last week that the majority of the 57 pilots will no longer be employed by CityJet. A small number of them will have the option to relocate outside of Ireland if and when required. Otherwise they face redundancy along with their other pilot and cabin crew colleagues, and this is despite some progress where a number of jobs were committed to remain in Dublin last week,” he said.
Mr McDonnell said the pilots had worked incredibly hard to develop alternatives to redundancy, which were designed to reduce costs and maintain some jobs in Dublin. “Following the closure of the Dublin base, CityJet will have a shortage of pilots and will be required to commence hiring pilots immediately. We’ve been informed that these new pilot jobs will be located outside the State,” he said.
He said CityJet had previously experienced pilot retention problems which contributed to the €28.5 million in lost revenue listed as a loss as part of the examinership process. “CityJet is using this examinership process to reduce its debt with the help of the Irish courts, while at the same time off-shoring Irish jobs. This is why pilots are protesting at the airline’s offices today. They have done all they can to maintain a base and jobs here, but the company have abandoned them,” he said.
The protest by pilots will take place today (Tuesday) at 11am at the Cityjet offices in the Swords Business Campus.