Clare Independent T.D. Michael McNamara has expressed his hope that more than 300 highly-skilled full-time jobs can be saved at Lufthansa Technik Shannon Ltd. as a result of a successful restructuring of the business or a buyer being found in the coming weeks for the Clare-based operation.
Deputy McNamara said workers have been informed that a decision on the company’s future will be made by management by mid-July.
“Lufthansa Technik is served by a highly skilled workforce with many workers having been with the company for more than 20 years,” explained Deputy McNamara.
He continued, “While the majority of contract staff were released in the last year, particularly at the beginning of the pandemic, management at the company has engaged with worker’s representatives from SIPTU to ensure the majority of full-time staff have been retained. This has been achieved successfully up to now by staggering work shifts with staff taking paid leave by availing of days built up over the years. This arrangement is, however, unsustainable in the medium term for the company.”
Deputy McNamara said the pandemic has negatively affected the international aircraft servicing sector, but the challenges faced by companies in Ireland have been compounded by the Irish Government’s “outlier aviation policies.”
“The winding up of Stobart Air with the expected loss of services from Shannon to Birmingham and Edinburgh, and the decision by Aer Lingus to close its cabin crew base at Shannon Airport last month highlight the crippling affect that Government aviation policy is having on the wider sector,” he said.
Deputy McNamara added, “It is understandable therefore, that Lufthansa Technik has been forced into a strategic review of its operation in light of one of the most conservative and restrictive international transport policies of any country in Europe. While I believe that Ireland needs to immediately open up its aviation sector in line with the rest of Europe, I would urge the Government to also engage with the company with a view to extending COVID-19 supports such as the TWSS and rates waivers.”
Deputy McNamara said Lufthansa Technik in Shannon has been a success story for the Mid-West Region and has retained business from many of the world’s largest airlines and private leasing companies, for whom Shannon remains a popular location for undergoing aircraft maintenance.
“Workers at the facility say that the company can regain lost business, but they are concerned about the ongoing strategic review and its implications for their employment and the negative message the process may give to potential customers. I understand that Lufthansa Technik has received outside interest in purchasing the business from at least two other aircraft maintenance MRO’s and I hope that a successful outcome for the company and its employees can be reached over the next few weeks,” he concluded.