May 1, 2020 / 1:16 PM / 24 days ago

Ireland's Aer Lingus seeks to cut workforce by 20% - source

FILE PHOTO: An Aer Lingus Airbus A320 prepares to take off at the builder's headquarters in Colomiers near Toulouse, France, September 27, 2019. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Irish airline Aer Lingus has told unions it is seeking staff cuts of around 20% due to the coronavirus pandemic, a source close to the talks told Reuters.

Aer Lingus, part of International Airlines Group (IAG) (ICAG.L), which also owns British Airways, declined to comment, saying it was “continuing to communicate directly with our employees and engage with their representative bodies.”

Cuts of 20% would represent around 800-900 staff, with management promising to offer a voluntary redundancy programme, the source said.

British Airways is seeking to cut up to 12,000 jobs, or more than a quarter of its workforce, as it slashes costs to weather the crisis that has grounded aircraft around the world.

The proposed cuts come as rival Ryanair (RYA.I) said on Friday it would cut 15% of its staff and reduce the pay of the remaining workers by 20%.

Irish national broadcaster RTE reported earlier that Aer Lingus informed union representatives of the plan at a meeting on Friday.

Reporting by Conor Humphries, editing by Padraic Halpin and Mark Potter

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