Government Sleepwalking Aviation Towards Ruin

26 January 2021

As the Labour Party continues to call for a National Aggressive Suppression Strategy (NASS), Labour transport spokesperson, Duncan Smith TD, reiterated his call for bespoke supports to protect the aviation industry. With the vaccine rollout taking longer than expected, and as new, more transmissible variants continue to emerge, the aviation industry will remain grounded throughout most of 2021 impacting a massive workforce throughout the country.

Deputy Smith said: “Covid-19 continues to present unique consequences for the aviation sector, with international travel prohibited and no clear end in sight. The aviation sector continues to express concerns about the future of air travel – even after mass vaccination.

“Despite this reality, Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Greens continue to sleepwalk the aviation industry toward ruin, putting the jobs hundreds of workers into jeopardy. This is not just a Dublin problem, aviation workers throughout the country from Cork to Kerry, Shannon to Knock are crying out for engagement from Government about the future of their livelihoods.

“The aviation sector needs to be supported and supported properly by the Government. These companies have fixed costs that they are chasing for 2020, 2021 and potentially longer. We only need to look at the German Government’s intervention into helping their own aviation sector with their comprehensive bailout for Lufthansa. Government must bring stakeholders together in a similar fashion and devise a scheme that supports and sustains our Irish aviation sector long into the future.

“We are an island nation. We need urgent and decisive action from Government to save the incomes of the many thousands employed in aviation and ancillary industries in the regions. I am once again calling on the Ministers for Transport and Finance and Public Expenditure to publish a plan in consultation with trade unions and other stakeholders in the coming weeks on how to engage with the aviation sector and ensure it has a viable future.

“There will be better days ahead, global travel will return, but only if there is an aviation industry.”

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