Written answers

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport

Air Services Provision

Photo of Jerry ButtimerJerry Buttimer (Cork South Central, Fine Gael)
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242. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the expected impact of the abolition of travel tax on Cork Airport; his views on the plans in place to allow Cork Airport to grow its passenger numbers; the reason changes in passenger numbers at Cork Airport are moving in the opposite direction to increasing figures at the other two State airports; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47473/13]

Photo of Leo VaradkarLeo Varadkar (Minister, Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport; Dublin West, Fine Gael)
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Cork and Dublin Airports are owned and managed by the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA), operating under a commercial mandate.  As such, the business of working to increase passenger numbers at Cork Airport is a matter for DAA and Cork Airport management and it is not something in which I have a direct role.   

I should say however, that the elimination of the air travel tax from next April is a clear indication of Government support for air travel and Irish tourism generally. Coupled with the decision to maintain the tourism and hospitality VAT rate at 9%, it is now up to the tourism agencies, the airlines, the airports and all the players in the tourism and aviation sectors to build on these significant Government initiatives. I expect to see all these stakeholders renewing their efforts in marketing and promoting both the existing and the potential additional connectivity with the UK, Continental Europe, the US and other destinations.   In this regard, I strongly welcome recent announcements by both Ryanair and Aer Lingus Regional with regard to the launch of new services at a number of airports, including Cork to East Midlands and increased capacity to Birmingham and Manchester. 

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