Ryanair, the world’s favourite airline today (6 Oct 09) wrote to Aer Lingus Chairman, Colm Barrington to request a full list of all those (non current employees and Board members) who are entitled to free flights on Aer Lingus. Ryanair, in common with many other shareholders believes that these free flight deals for former Directors (like Sean Fitzpatrick) and others are inappropriate and unjustifiable at a time when Aer Lingus is losing over €100m per year and considering “amputation, not cosmetic cuts”.
Ryanair has asked Mr Barrington to confirm what other categories/groups/persons are entitled to free flights on Aer Lingus and specifically whether any of the following groups are entitled to free flights on Aer Lingus:
1. Former Board members, advisors and employees of Aer Lingus
2. Current or former employees/Directors of the DAA or other Irish Semi State companies.
3. Current or former Taoisigh, Government Ministers, or politicians.
4. Current or former Civil Servants.
5. Current or former Trade Union officials.
6. Current or former Journalists.
Ryanair has called on Aer Lingus to publish the details of those categories or groups of non employees who have an entitlement to free flights on Aer Lingus and to explain why this entitlement exists. Ryanair is calling on the Board of Aer Lingus to immediately end these free flight schemes which are an unjustified cost and waste at a time when Aer Lingus is losing money and considering substantial job cuts.
Ryanair’s Stephen McNamara said:
“It is entirely wrong for Aer Lingus to be giving free flights entitlements to former Board Directors, including political appointees and possibly others at a time when the airline is losing money, is considering widespread job and pay cuts and is running down its cash balances at an alarming rate.
“Ryanair like all other Aer Lingus shareholders is concerned to ensure that the Board of Aer Lingus tackles its bloated cost base, and eliminates unnecessary cost and waste such as free flights for non employees such as Mr Fitzpatrick and any other political appointees to the Board of Aer Lingus at a time when the airline is losing money and cutting jobs.”