The Shannon Airport Authority has confirmed that it plans to shed jobs to address what it calls the unacceptable budgetary outlook at the airport.

In a statement, it did not specify how many jobs will be lost, or a time frame for completing the cutbacks.

However, there is speculation that up to 260 jobs - half the airport's workforce - could be at risk in a voluntary early retirement programme.

The unions, however, say the legislation which split Aer Rianta into three separate authorities at Dublin Cork and Shannon, guarantees jobs and working conditions.