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Swiss aircraft firm to cut jobs in Ireland

Dublin airport.
by Staff Writers
Dublin (AFP) Feb 12, 2009
Swiss-based aircraft maintenance firm SR Technics is to close most of its operation at Ireland's Dublin airport where it employs over 1,000 people, it said on Thursday.

The closure of the facility in north Dublin is the latest blow to the beleaguered former Celtic Tiger, which was the first country Europe to fall into recession last year.

"We are announcing this deeply regrettable and difficult step only after an exhaustive evaluation of all strategic options for our Group wide operations," SR Technics (SRT) head Bernd Kessler said in a statement.

The company will consult with trade unions representing the 1,135 workers at the Dublin facility, a spokeswoman said, while declining to confirm media reports that over 1,000 jobs were to go.

SRT said it had been carrying out an in-depth review and assessment of all lines of business across the entire group, including an evaluation of their financial, operational and strategic impact.

"As a result of this review, the group intends to close its operation at Dublin airport.

"Against the backdrop of adverse market conditions for the aviation industry and the global economic downturn SR Technics is restructuring its business to secure the group's long-term future," the statement said.

It said the closure of the Dublin facility would have no impact on other operations throughout the group, including its facility in Cork in the south of Ireland.

The Dublin plant was formerly known as Team Aer Lingus and was acquired by SRT in 2004.

SRT has operations in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. It had been the Technical Department of Swissair. When the airline collapsed in 2002 it emerged as an independent company.

In 2006 a consortium of the three United Arab Emirates-based investors - Mubadala Development, Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) and Istithmar World - took it over.

Official figures last week showed Ireland's unemployment rate had surged 9.2 percent in January, the highest rate for a decade.

The month-on-month increase in the number signing on for benefits in January in the once buoyant economy was also a record 36,498.

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Major airlines call for climate deal to include aviation
Hong Kong (AFP) Feb 12, 2009
Four of the world's leading airlines on Thursday called for greenhouse gas emissions from aviation to be included in a new global climate deal.

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