Taoiseach and Transport Minister must intervene to save Ryanair slots at Cork Airport

Seán Sherlock TD
01 October 2020

Cork East TD Seán Sherlock has called on the Minister for Transport and Taoiseach to intervene to save Ryanair slots in Cork airport and safeguard the immediate future of the airport with a stimulus package.

“The hands off approach simply won’t do any more,” said Deputy Sherlock.

“The Aviation Taskforce has reported on what needs to be done. For the Minister to say consideration is being given on connectivity outside of Dublin, when the Taskforce reported in July, is just not good enough. These are jobs that if lost will be very hard to restore. These are routes that if lost, will be very hard to restore.”

“The Coalition of Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Green Party must intervene to save Cork Airport. 

* To ask the Minister for Transport if his attention has been drawn to the Aviation Taskforce recommendations; and if the recommendations will be implemented in their entirety.

– Sean Sherlock T.D.

PQ [26814/20]

For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 29 September, 2020.

The Aviation Recovery Taskforce submitted its Report in early July in which it made a series of recommendations around how Government could help stimulate a return to growth in the industry. These recommendations included a loosening of international travel restrictions, the finalisation of safe air travel protocols for airports and airlines and the provision of Exchequer funding for airlines and airports.

Where it has been able to, the Government has responded positively to the Report’s recommendations. The wage subsidy scheme – which benefits aviation companies – has been extended out to April next year, a safe air travel protocol document has been published and liquidity supports are available through the ISIF Pandemic Stability Fund. Moreover, the Government is working hard at European level to secure a common EU-wide approach to air travel that offers the prospect of easing some travel restrictions in a safe way.

Whilst we clearly have not yet arrived at a point where it makes sense for the Government to try to stimulate growth in air travel, as envisaged by the Taskforce Report, consideration is being given to what more needs to be done to protect key connectivity – including outside of Dublin – without undermining the central public health objective of reducing the spread of Covid-19. It should be noted that additional emergency funding has already been allocated to Shannon Airport, and the Regional Airports Programme is continuing to provide important financial supports for our regional airports.

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