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06.56 29 Jan 2015


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Up to 1,200 jobs could be lost at Aer Lingus if the airline is sold to IAG, according to IMPACT trade union.

Impact has warned the Oireachtas Transport Committee that the IAG group has a history of cutting jobs after takeovers.

The Oireachtas transport committee is holding an emergency meeting this afternoon to discuss the potential impact of the airline being sold.

IMPACT's Matt Staunton says there were huge job losses when IAG was formed in the first place as a merger between British Airways and Spanish flag carrier Iberia.

“In the absence of a detailed plan from IAG we can only assume the company will take the same approach it did when Iberia merged with British Airways to form IAG.

“Iberia was forced to shed 4,500 jobs. Our estimate is adjusted to scale, takes account fo the Greenfield plan redundancies and analysts in Dublin and London have confirmed that our figures are closer to the mark,” Mr Staunton said.

The Transport Minister is briefing Labour TDs and Senators in a bid to deal with their opposition over the possible sale of Aer Lingus.

Several members of the Parliamentary Labour Party - including Tánaiste Joan Burton - have said they are not convinced by the offer from International Airlines Group for the former national flag carrier.

The Tánaiste is reported to have told the weekly meeting of the party last night that she is still to be convinced of whether the State should hand over its 25% stake in the airline, in exchange for an estimated €340 million.

At least seven of her TDs have serious concerns about any sale - believing that selling the airline could put jobs at risk in their constituencies near Dublin, Cork and Shannon airports.

Serious concerns were also expressed at the weekly meeting of the Fine Gael parliamentary party, where the Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe tried to give some assurances that the government would not sell if it did not have a guarantee about keeping links from London to Irish airports.

Junior Minister Kathleen Lynch says concerns are widespread within the Labour party:

The issue is set to be discussed again today at a meeting of the Oireachtas Transport committee, with chambers of commerce, pilots, the IDA and airline workers all likely to say they have fears for their futures if Aer Lingus is sold.

Transport Committee Chairman John O'Mahony spoke to Newstalk Breakfast about what will be discussed today:

Aviation expert, John Strickland, also spoke to the show about the potential sale of the airline:

He added that it is unlikely the government will veto the deal or refuse to sell its 25% share:

Originally posted at 6.55am


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