Aer Lingus considers closing Cork and Shannon bases

The airline will review its operations at Cork Airport. File photograph

Aer Lingus is considering the closure of its bases at Cork and Shannon airports, with up to 350 jobs at risk.

It comes as part of the airline's plans to lay off around 500 workers due to the impact of Covid-19.

Ongoing travel restrictions have led to Aer Lingus losing €316 million so far this year.

The airline's chief executive, Sean Doyle, told staff on Friday that jobs would be cut on a “compulsory basis if necessary” but stressed that redundancies would be voluntary if possible.

He told workers there was no immediate sign on any meaningful restart of flights from Cork and Shannon airports.

Willie Walsh, chief executive of parent company IAG, said it will be years before air travel returns to normal levels.

"We were hoping to get back to 50 per cent of our capacity in July – we are flying at about 20 per cent today. So this is a much slower build up to recovery than we had originally expected," Mr Walsh said.

"I think that is consistent with a lot of other airlines. I think the industry consensus will be that it will be 2023, probably 2024, before we get back to 2019 levels of passenger demand."

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