Updated: Breakthrough as Aer Lingus pilots agree to suspend industrial action

A work-to-rule by pilots at Aer Lingus has been suspended while their union awaits the outcome of a ballot on a fresh pay deal.

The Irish Airline Pilots Association (Ialpa) will hold a series of engagements with members before the ballot, which is due to open on July 18 and close on July 23, Irish broadcaster RTE reported.

The union said on X: “Aer Lingus pilots have returned to full working arrangements today after Ialpa ceased industrial action while a ballot of members is pending.”

Ialpa has recommended acceptance of Irish Labour Court proposals aimed at resolving its pay dispute with Aer Lingus.

More: Aer Lingus cancels more flights amid industrial action

Irish travel agents urge end to Aer Lingus pilots’ dispute

The Labour Court recommendation includes a 17.75% pay increase for pilots over a four-year period.

Ialpa said it will “move immediately to suspend ongoing work-to-rule action, in place since 26 June, pending the outcome of a ballot”.

Ialpa president Captain Mark Tighe described the pay increase provided for in the recommendation as a “significant win” for pilots.

“This achievement was secured by the determination and unity shown by our members,” he reportedly said.

“In addition to this, we achieved a return to the 2019 pay scale which means new staff will increase their pay by an additional 10%. That means the lowest paid pilots will enjoy salary increases of almost 30%.”

Aer Lingus said it welcomed Ialpa’s recommendation of acceptance of the Labour Court recommendation and its decision to discontinue the industrial action.

“We look forward to Ialpa completing the balloting process as soon as possible,” the airline said.

Aer Lingus earlier announced a further 25 flight cancellations on July 15-16 due to the industrial action by pilots, bringing to 573 the total number of flights grounded since industrial action began two weeks ago.

The Irish Travel Agents Association has been urging for a resolution of the dispute due to the impact on summer holiday travel.

Chief executive Clare Dunne said: “It is a good day for the travelling public and we are delighted with the decision by Ialpa last night to suspend industrial action. This is a very positive development for intending travellers and the tourism sector.

“The Itaa have consistently stated that compromise and engagement between Ialpa and Aer Lingus was the way only forward and best for every stakeholder involved, most importantly the customer. We look forward to a positive outcome.”

The work to rule has not affected Aer Lingus regional services operated by Emerald Airlines and transatlantic flights from Manchester airport.

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