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July 25, 2024

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Air Lingus may defer the delivery of the first A321XLR from Airbus and potentially lose launch customer status.  A labor dispute with pilots threatened a deadline that the carrier faced in confirming the delivery with Airbus.  Aer Lingus needed to confirm delivery of the aircraft with Airbus by Sunday, but their approval was contingent on reaching a new agreement with pilots.  That agreement has not happened.

The parties remain far apart on the issue, and the carrier indicated that deferring the order would reduce its pilot requirements if the aircraft is deferred. The carrier has not disclosed whether the aircraft will or will not be delivered on time.  Is this an idle threat, and will the union call their bluff?

The Bottom Line

This is an unusual element to pilot contract negotiations, and the carrier, a member of IAG group, appears to be taking a hard line in negotiations. That could impact the planned Dublin-Minneapolis route planned later this year. Stay tuned for more news in this unusual situation.

author avatar
Ernest Arvai
President AirInsight Group LLC

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