Thursday, 11 July 2019
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
Air Services Provision
810. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the position regarding the decision to issue a permit to an airline (details supplied) to operate a service between Dublin and Madrid; his views on whether this new service could give rise to a potential unfair commercial advantage; and his further views on whether this route was already well serviced with 39 existing services weekly. [31171/19]
The Ireland - Ethiopia Bilateral Air Services Agreement, signed in 2014, allows for the granting of fifth freedom air traffic rights for airlines of both countries, on a reciprocal basis and subject to the approval of the relevant aeronautical authorities.
Ethiopian Airlines applied to both the Spanish and Irish Aeronautical Authorities in 2018 for approval of their Addis Ababa - Madrid - Dublin (return) route. Following confirmation of approval by the Spanish Aeronautical Authorities and having consulted with Irish air carriers, my Department authorised the route as it conformed to the rights provided under the Air Services Agreement.
Ireland traditionally has a liberal aviation policy and remains positively disposed towards the development of competitive air services. In that context, my Department will continue to consider applications for fifth freedom air traffic rights under bilateral air services agreements, on a case-by-case basis.