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Aer Lingus pilots suspend industrial action with new pay deal

FILE PHOTO: The Aer Lingus EI-DER Airbus A320 makes its final approach for landing at Toulouse-Blagnac airport

(Reuters) - Aer Lingus' pilots union called off its industrial action and recommended that members accept a pay proposal, the union said on Wednesday, ending a dispute that has led to the cancellation of hundreds of flights.

"The pilot body will move immediately to suspend ongoing work-to-rule action, in place since 26th June, pending the outcome of a ballot," the Irish Air Lines Pilots’ Association (IALPA) said in an emailed statement.

Under work-to-rule, a form of industrial action, employees perform their duties strictly to the letter of the labour contract without taking on any additional duties.

Pilots began the industrial action on June 26, demanding a 24% pay increase to compensate for several years of inflation and cuts during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Aer Lingus, part of the IAG group of airlines, on Monday said it would accept the Labour Court recommendation, which includes a pilot pay increase of 17.75% for the four years to the end of 2026.

“Aer Lingus welcomes Forsa’s/IALPA’s recommendation of acceptance of the Labour Court recommendation and its decision to discontinue the industrial action," the airline said in a statement.

(Reporting by Gnaneshwar Rajan in Bengaluru Editing by Leslie Adler)