Ryanair calls for Aer Lingus pay cuts
Published 22/05/2009 | 08:28
Ryanair fired another salvo in the airline's long-running row with rival Aer Lingus yesterday by calling for the group to slash its boardroom pay.
Michael O'Leary's low cost carrier, which owns a 29.8% stake in Aer Lingus, would like to see Aer Lingus non-executive chairman Colm Barrington take a dramatic pay cut from €140,000 (£123,287) to €35,000 (£30,761).
It is tabling resolutions to be put forward at the Aer Lingus annual meeting next month for the airline's chairman and director salaries to be cut back to 2006 levels amid tough conditions.
The call comes just months after Aer Lingus successfully saw off a hostile takeover approach from Ryanair.
But since then Aer Lingus has warned over profits and Ryanair has been vocal in its criticism. Ryanair management have taken pay reductions to help cut costs.
Aer Lingus urged shareholders to vote against Ryanair's proposals, saying the board had already voluntarily opted for a 20% pay decrease in February.
In yet another salvo between the two airlines, Aer Lingus yesterday said its Heathrow service from Belfast International Airport was performing better than those by rival airlines to any London airport, according to CAA statistics.
Aer Lingus’ Enda Corneille said: “With a load factor of 79% our Heathrow route is more popular than all the other services to London out of Northern Ireland and we only have around a quarter of the overall London capacity. It puts in the shade Ryanair’s operations at Belfast harbour as they could only muster a measly 66% load factor on their Stansted service.”