The chief executive of Aer Lingus has launched a scathing attack on his pilots after talks to agree an "urgent" turnaround of the airline broke down.
Christoph Mueller was left seething after he failed to secure agreement for the group's transformation plan with the Irish pilot's union, saying its stance would see hundreds more jobs lost. He slammed their "very high compensation" demands in return for inadequate temporary cost savings.
He added that the "majority of our staff understands that Aer Lingus needs to make significant and urgent change if it is to have an independent and successful financial future".
The Dublin-based airline's plan included cutting 676 staff and - for those on more than â‚¬35,000 - reducing pay, but Mr Mueller said total cuts could now soar to more than 1,000.
The carrier's operation in Northern Ireland, based at Belfast International Airport, is not affected by the transformation plan.
The CEO said the overhaul would allow the company to keep staff numbers "closer to current levels" but added that "in the absence of real cost savings being delivered from all employee groups, we will have to resort to other measures".
The board and management said after the meeting that without an agreement in place it would have to reduce capacity, further cutting loss-making routes, with fewer aircraft "which in turn will lead to additional redundancies beyond those included in the transformation plan. It is very likely that these redundancies will commence immediately and will be compulsory".
After an extraordinary general meeting, Mr Mueller said: "We have narrowed the gap with most union groups on the achievement of sustainable savings and this has brought us very close to signature with them.
"The exception to this promising outcome is the Irish Airline Pilots Association (IALPA) and to a lesser extent, cabin crew."
Aer Lingus said IALPA offered "only temporary savings over a short few years" instead of sustainable structural savings.
In addition, "Aer Lingus was asked for very high compensation in return. Our pilot compensation and productivity remains out of line with the compensation and productivity of our competitors".
"On this occasion it has not been possible to reach agreement with all our employee groups and we must now take whatever actions are necessary to stabilize the business, in the interests of Aer Lingus, its customers, the majority of its employees and of its shareholders."