The threat of industrial action at Aer Lingus has receded, after management and the cabin crew union IMPACT accepted a Labour Court recommendation on the dispute over rosters. 

The recommendation provides for a further talks process overseen by the Labour Court, the recruitment of 20 additional cabin crew and restoration to cabin crew of staff travel privileges, which were withdrawn after last month's strike.

The Minister for Transport Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar welcomed the move.

Labour Court chairman Kevin Duffy, said cabin crew and management should establish a technical group to consider introducing a five day on, three day off roster for short haul cabin crew.

However, he stressed that any new rosters must deliver the high productivity set out in a previous agreement, and must be cost-neutral.

Staff on the San Francisco route are to be granted a third day off after duty.

The Labour Court also recommends that Aer Lingus should commence recruitment of 20 additional cabin crew staff in order to facilitate new rostering arrangements. 

Mr Duffy also urged Aer Lingus to establish an internal forum to improve the manner in which industrial disputes are addressed and warns against further industrial action.

IMPACT said the recommendation forms a good basis for settlement of the issues in dispute.

Aer Lingus said it would implement the recommendation, and apologised to passengers for the inconvenience and uncertainty.

Minister Varadkar said he hoped the recommendations on improving industrial relations at the company would minimise the possibility of similar disputes in the future.

Aer Lingus says strike threat damaged trading

Meanwhile, Aer Lingus has said that the threat of a strike by cabin crew for 16 and 18 June, has caused "significant damage" to its trading and forward bookings several months into the future.

In a trading update in respect of its full-year 2014 operating outlook, the airline said assuming that no further strikes are threatened, it expects its 2014 operating profits (before net exceptional items) will be 10% to 20% lower than last year.

"The outcome will depend in part on the speed with which we can win back customer confidence," Aer Lingus said.