Up to 1,000 job cuts likely at Dublin and Cork airports

Friday, March 12

By Ciarán Mather

Dublin and Cork Airports will likely see an exodus of 1,000 workers over the coming weeks due to a voluntary severance programme by its parent company, the DAA.

The DAA offered voluntary severance to its 3,100-plus staff in both airports last year due to the strain put on the air transport sector from the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, this final number of job losses is actually in line with what the company originally indicated in May 2020, when it first announced plans to reduce its workforce.

According to the company's latest annual report, the company employed an average of 3,176 people in Ireland and 963 internationally in 2019.

The DAA's chief executive Dalton Philips told staff in a letter on Thursday that a total of 850 workers have left, while more are due to go in coming weeks.

He explained: 'In total, the current right-sizing programme will see more than 1,000 Irish-based staff permanently leave the organisation – that’s about a third of our workforce.'

In addition, Mr. Phillips told staff that from March 28th, the DAA would restore full pay to employees who were staying with the business and who had accepted work practice changes.

Employees of the DAA have been on 80 per cent of pay since April last year.

However, Mr Phillips acknowledged that the loss of overtime, bonuses, profit and gain share meant actual cuts were 45 per cent in some cases.

He also asked that staff take a minimum of 20 days of leave between March 28th and September 11th to help prepare the company for when a financial recovery does begin.

Mr. Phillips added that while the DAA is not able to accurately forecast how things might look in the second half of this year, he is hopeful for the future, saying: 'There are significant positives though – the vaccine rollout programme is ramping up and there is a huge underlying demand for international travel.'

Before the pandemic in 2019, DAA business generated a turnover of €935m, representing a 4 per cent increase, with earnings rising 4 per cent to €302m.

Pre-exceptional profits were also up 13 per cent that year, at just over €150m.