Major airline cancels hundreds of flights to and from UK sparking holiday chaos

Aer Lingus has cancelled 122 flights between July 3 and July 7
-Credit: (Image: NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Chaos is expected for holidaymakers after a major airline cancelled hundreds of flights to and from the UK.

Just days before the peak travel season begins union bosses are asking for a 24% pay rise for their members to return to work. As reported by the Mirror, the Irish Air Line Pilot's Association (Ialpa) has confirmed industrial action between July 3 and July 7 which will impact routes across the Irish Sea and has seen 122 Aer Lingus flights cancelled.

Dublin Airport will be majorly affected by the strikes as routes to the UK were pulled from Aer Lingus' reduced schedule. Last week talks between Ialpa and Aer Lingus broke down before an agreement was reached on the pay settlement, with the union demanding a 24% increase to salaries in line with inflation.

Officials pointed out Aer Lingus' 400% "increase in profit" as the basis of the pay rise - however the airline has insisted the most it can offer is 12.25%. Anything higher would be sourced through savings from changing working conditions, according to Aer Lingus officials.

Chief corporate office Donal Moriarty says they had "engaged constructively" with unions but were left cancelling over 100 flights as the dispute continues.

Pilots under Aer Lingus are striking as union bosses demand a 24% pay rise
Pilots under Aer Lingus are striking as union bosses demand a 24% pay rise -Credit:PA

Chief Moriarty said: "We tried to discuss items that could actually resolve this dispute, in particular we tried to discuss productivity, flexibility and the modernisation of our collective agreement. We advised IALPA and encouraged them to revisit that mandate in order to put within their power the normal aspect of pay negotiations."

Aer Lingus today announced cancellations due to ongoing strikes and offered customers free flight changes or vouchers on their future trips, with claims for a refund or voucher available to those affected, The Sun reported. Their announcement read: "In order to continue to protect as many services as possible from the impact of Ialpa's continuing industrial action, Aer Lingus has had to take the step of cancelling 122 additional flights over the course of Wednesday July 3 to Sunday July 7 (inclusive).

"Implementing these cancellations is to enable us to protect as many services as possible for as many of our customers as possible. These cancellations will be implemented today, and details will be communicated to impacted customers."

A spokesperson for Aer Lingus added: "Aer Lingus fully understands the anxiety being experienced by customers given the uncertainty caused by Ialpa's industrial action and is giving impacted customers as many options as possible." Ialpa's official Twitter /X account has since confirmed the strike action and says employees deserve "to protect their purchasing power."

Their statement read: "Over 500 IALPA Aer Lingus pilots rallied together this morning at a picket outside Dublin Airport during an 8 hour strike. Aer Lingus pilots deserve to protect their purchasing power. Ialpa president Captain Mark Tighe previously said: "The company has not moved from its statement that anything more than 12.25% would have to be funded by pilots' own payments through work practice."

Earlier we told how Edinburgh Airport was hit by pandemonium on Saturday as holidaymakers were engulfed in massive queues, with some travellers reporting they had to wait outside the terminal building just to check in for their flights.

The airport was swamped with passengers eager to start their summer holidays, but many were left frustrated and venting their ire on social media over the lengthy delays.

On Thursday, we highlighted several EasyJet flights were cancelled in the morning due to 'air traffic control restrictions. ' The airline extended its apologies to affected customers and offered them options to either change their flights or request a refund.

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