Dublin based pilots from the airline Cityjet are to picket outside the company's headquarters tomorrow.

The protest is directed at the company’s decision to resume flights using aircraft registered here, but flown by pilots based outside the country.

Cityjet’s Dublin based pilots remain temporarily laid off as a result of the crisis gripping the aviation industry around the world and the airline plans to close its Dublin base.

But according to the Irish Airline Pilots Association, which is part of the union Fórsa, the decision to continue flying Irish registered aircraft using pilots based elsewhere is effectively an "offshoring" of Dublin based pilots work.

"We were informed last week that the majority of the 57 pilots will no longer be employed by CityJet," said Fórsa official Ian McDonnell.

"A small number of them will have the option to relocate outside of Ireland if and when required. Otherwise they face redundancy along with their other pilot and cabin crew colleagues, and this is despite some progress where a number of jobs were committed to remain in Dublin last week."

Cityjet, which prior to the pandemic had provided aircraft and crew to a number of airlines through a service known as "wet leasing", is currently in an examinership process aimed at restructuring its finances in order to give it an improved chance of survival into the future.

Fórsa says it has put forward a range of proposals aimed at securing some pilot roles in Dublin, including 50% pay cuts to April next year and the ending of all terms and conditions but these have all been rejected.

"CityJet intends to exit the examinership process flying 15 aircraft for SAS as part of the business plan, as it did prior to Covid-19," Mr McDonnell said.

"However these flights will resume without the Irish-based pilots flying the aircraft. Dublin-based pilots had been doing this work until the examinership process commenced in April."

He claimed that CityJet is using theexaminership process to reduce its debt with the help of the Irish courts, while at the same time off-shoring Irish jobs.

"They have done all they can to maintain a base and jobs here," he said, referring to the pilots, "but the company have abandoned them."

In response, Cityjet said it does not have any airline wet lease contracts for its Dublin operation and 142 pilots and cabin crew and 130 ground staff at its crew base in Dublin remain at risk as a result.

"The majority of pilots in this group are qualified on the Avro RJ85 aircraft which is being retired from CityJet service following the termination by Aer Lingus of CityJet's only contract for the aircraft, based in Dublin," it said.

"Retraining these crews onto another aircraft type without first securing relevant business for such an operation is not possible.  IALPA was advised last week that all Dublin-based pilots qualified on the CRJ900 aircraft will be offered positions in Copenhagen when these become available."

It added that while it continues to operate services in Scandinavia, the future requirement will be less than previous years, with the number of aircraft set to fall from 21 to just 15.

"Dublin-based crews previously operated services in to supplement locally-employed crews for a number of CityJet’s customer airlines in Scandinavia, Belgium and France in addition to flights from Dublin. With the loss of all contracts except Scandinavia, the requirement for Dublin crews to supplement locally-based crews is reduced," it said.

"Should CityJet secure business requiring a Dublin base, which it is actively seeking to do, opportunities will be created for crews.  However, given the current financial situation of the airline and no visibility of available Dublin-based flying for these crews, regrettably CityJet has no option but to place these roles at risk of potential redundancy."