IAG International Airlines Group’s chief executive officer, Luis Gallego, has warned that the Anglo-Spanish holding will not place any upcoming A321-200NY(XLR)s with its Aer Lingus (EI, Dublin International) subsidiary if a pay agreement with its pilots is not reached.

“The original idea was that they were going to fly in Aer Lingus, but today [...], without an agreement, they’re not going to,” he was quoted as saying by the Irish Independent newspaper.

The Dublin International-based carrier is reportedly the global launch customer of the A321XLR, set to debut in the third quarter of 2024. Msn 11348, which will become EI-XLR on delivery, was recently seen with the Irish carrier’s livery.

The ch-aviation fleets module shows that of IAG’s order for fourteen A321neo(XLR)s, six are destined for Aer Lingus and eight for Iberia (IB, Madrid Barajas). Other members of the holding include British Airways, LEVEL, and Vueling Airlines.

Aer Lingus and the Irish Airline Pilots’ Association (IALPA) are in the middle of a pay increase dispute which looks destined for the Labour Court, The Irish Times reported in February. The pilots are seeking a 20% wage raise. However, Gallego said that the gulf between the company and the pilots is extreme, and he has also thrown into question IAG’s willingness to further invest in the Irish carrier. “When they have things that are miles away from what we can offer, unfortunately we cannot have a commitment to invest in the company.”

ch-aviation has reached out to IAG, Aer Lingus, and IALPA for comment.

Aer Lingus’s production carrier, Emerald Airlines (Ireland) (EA, Dublin International), and IALPA successfully negotiated a 10% payment increase which will be implemented through a series of stepped increments:

  • A 3.5% raise starting from March 1, 2024;
  • Another 3.5% increase on March 1, 2025; and
  • A final 3% raise on the same date in 2026.