Urgent and decisive action needed to save aviation jobs
- Failure by Government to introduce airport testing is damaging the aviation sector
Labour Transport Spokesperson Duncan Smith T.D says urgent and decisive action is needed from Government to save aviation jobs after the news that Ryanair is to temporarily halt all its flights from the regional airports from November 14 to December 12.
Deputy Smith said:
“What we need now is urgent and decisive action from Government to save the livelihoods of the many thousands employed in aviation and ancillary industries in the regions. The €10 million announced as part of Budget 2021 for Cork and Shannon Airport is insufficient and I am dismayed to hear the Minister on RTÉ Radio declining to consider allocating additional funding to these airports outside of what was announced in the budget. Shannon Airport alone is losing around €1.3 million a week.
“The failure to provide airport testing for arrivals and departures is a contributory factor to today’s announcement. Virtually the entire aviation industry is united in their call for the Government to introduce airport testing and Minister Ryan has failed to meaningfully engage with the industry on this. It was confirmed to me today at the Transport Committee that Minister Ryan hadn’t even spoken to two of the representatives from the aviation industry in recent weeks.
“The Government’s failure to engage is putting thousands of jobs at risk and doing nothing to restore confidence in international travel. Airport testing is happening all over Europe and our Government have sleepwalked us into a disaster by dithering and delaying on this. I have raised this at the transport committee three weeks ago and again today with the only difference today being that we are seeing the affects of three weeks of further inaction with no progress having been made
“Minister Ryan needs to take decisive action and announce significant emergency funding to secure jobs at the regional airports. The Government also needs to wake up and listen to the concerns of airports outside of Dublin. We need to see a sense of urgency from the Minister and from Government
“Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Greens are sleepwalking the aviation industry into ruin and as a result will cost thousands of workers their jobs. We need urgent action including the introduction of airport testing immediately and significant additional funding for regional airports such as Cork, Shannon and Knock.