Dáil debates

Thursday, 16 September 2021

Ceisteanna ar Sonraíodh Uain Dóibh - Priority Questions

Aviation Industry

10:30 am

Photo of Hildegarde NaughtonHildegarde Naughton (Galway West, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

As the Deputy knows, the European Commission gave us approval under EU state aid rules for €26 million to compensate airports for the damages caused by Covid-19. My objective was to enable commercial business within airports and allow them to deal directly with airlines in terms of route incentives and the issues the Deputy raised. That is the business of our airports, and the Government has enabled them by providing funding. This forms part of our Department's deliberations with the aviation sector.

The Deputy is correct regarding transatlantic flights. They are critical for us - I do not need to explain why. There is considerable engagement happening at EU level as well as at Irish level within the Departments of Foreign Affairs and the Taoiseach. As the Deputy knows, the US Administration has put in place severe entry restrictions, but there is ongoing engagement around opening those lines of connectivity up again.


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