Ryanair wants Aer Lingus exec pay cuts

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Irish budget airline Ryanair will propose large pay cuts for the chairman of rival carrier Aer Lingus and his non-executive directors at the group's annual meeting, Aer Lingus said Thursday.

Ryanair, which owns nearly 30 percent of Aer Lingus, has a fractious relationship with the former state carrier, which it has twice tried to take over via hostile bids.

Ryanair is proposing that the pay of Aer Lingus chairman Colin Barrington be slashed from 175,000 euros (152,795 pounds) received in 2008 back to the 35,000 euros level earned by his predecessor in 2006.

The group is also proposing that the remuneration of non-executive directors be cut from 45,000 euros to 17,500 euros, the level earned in 2006.

Aer Lingus, which has recently cut jobs and pay to trim costs, said it was recommending Ryanair's resolutions be rejected at the annual meeting on June 5.

"The Aer Lingus board believes that the existing non-executive directors' fees and chairman's fees are reasonable having regard to the high level of board activity and the increase in directors' responsibilities since the IPO," the group said in a statement.

Aer Lingus said in February all its board members had voluntarily reduced their fees for 2009 by 20 percent resulting in annual fees of 36,000 euros for the non-executive directors and 140,000 euros for the chairman.

(Reporting by Carmel Crimmins; Editing by Hans Peters)

Article Published: 21/05/2009