Aer Lingus regional carrier Stobart Air has announced that it will be pausing all international flight operations due to the “staggering” impact of the coronavirus outbreak across the global aviation industry.
The suspension of flights will commence this Saturday (28 March) until further notice. In light of this decision and in order to reduce costs, the airline has said that “temporary lay-offs will be required” and staff will be asked to take voluntary unpaid leave or reduced working hours.
In a statement, Stobart Air said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has seen the demand for airline services decrease at unprecedented levels. Its rapid impact across the global aviation industry has been staggering.
“Against this backdrop, Stobart Air has today (Monday 23 March) taken the decision to operate a significantly reduced schedule this week and temporarily suspend all international flight operations with effect from Saturday 28 March [00:00] until further notice.
“We will continue to operate our public service obligation (PSO) routes from Dublin to Kerry and Dublin to Donegal, maintaining vital domestic connectivity for passengers.
“All scheduled international services will continue to operate up to 23:59 on Tuesday 24 March to ensure passengers have an opportunity to complete trips or make necessary travel arrangements.
‘’International services between 25 March and 28 March (Wednesday-Saturday) will be reduced to limited services between Dublin and Glasgow and Dublin and Edinburgh. All affected passengers will be notified by email and advised of their options.
“We apologise for the inconvenience this unavoidable decision brings to our valued customers.
“We are also mindful of the impact these measures will have on our team who have shown immense professionalism and forbearance at this time.”
The carrier added: “We have been engaging with our staff, their representatives and wider suppliers over recent days as we explored difficult but necessary measures to retain jobs such as voluntary unpaid leave and reduced working hours while reducing the cost base.
“Now, given the decision to suspend international services, temporary lay-offs will be required. Consultation with staff and employee representative groups to make the difficult but necessary arrangements are underway.
“These measures are being implemented to protect the business against the current commercial reality and position us for the future.”
Visit gov.uk for the latest coronavirus travel updates.