Aer Lingus today announced that the cost savings in its Survival Plan have gone directly back to the customers through the widespread availability of cheaper fares and promised that the airline is committed to further lowering the cost of air travel.
The cost savings in the Survival Plan of €180 million have allowed us to sell 1.6 million cheap fares this year so far at prices up to 60% lower than last year. This week we are making a further 600,000 cheap seats available at even lower prices. In total over 3 million cheap seats are being made available in the Irish market this year.
The implementation of the Survival Plan is the absolute minimum required to ensure the long term viability of Aer Lingus and to compete effectively by offering lower fares to our customers.
Chief Executive, Willie Walsh said “The Survival Plan is the absolute minimum we require to begin the process of bringing Aer Lingus forward. We cannot compromise on its implementation as it just gets us to the starting line. It is not the finishing line. For Aer Lingus to be relevant we must provide the low fares our customers want. Our record so far this year speaks for itself. We are committed to doing more.”
Aer Lingus today also called on the IMPACT trade union representing the pilots in the airline to state clearly and unambiguously that they are committed to the full implementation of the company`s Survival Plan, adding that only such a clear statement can help lift the uncertainty over customers` travel plans.
In the absence of such clarity Aer Lingus considers that it is still not in a position to recommence operations on Saturday 1st June. This position will continue to be kept under review on a daily basis.
Aer Lingus regrets having to make this decision but it is unavoidable given the continuing uncertainty caused by the threat of further 24 hour stoppages and the ongoing refusal of the pilots to implement the arbitration rulings on the airline`s Survival Plan.