Written answers

Tuesday, 28 July 2020

Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport

Covid-19 Pandemic Supports

Photo of Maurice QuinlivanMaurice Quinlivan (Limerick City, Sinn Fein)
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132. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if an application for emergency funding has been received from a group (details supplied) up to 17 July 2020; if so, the details of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17993/20]

Duncan Smith (Dublin Fingal, Labour)
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135. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport correspondence with a group (details supplied) since 1 January 2020 in relation to support measures to assist the company cope with the long-term effects of the Covid-19 pandemic will be provided; the dates of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18003/20]

Photo of Eamon RyanEamon Ryan (Dublin Bay South, Green Party)
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I propose to take Questions Nos. 132 and 135 together.

I can advise the Deputies that in response to the COVID-19 crisis, the Government has put in place a broad range of supports to help mitigate the effects of the crisis, including the recently extended Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme which many companies in the aviation sector including Shannon Group, are currently availing of.

In relation to the provision of emergency funding, the Deputies may be aware that Government recently approved the provision of €6.1m in emergency grant funding to enable Shannon Airport complete its Hold Baggage Screening project.  As Shannon Group is a commercial State Body, this funding was provided as an exceptional measure. Provision of this funding ensured the Airport was in a position to re-open on the 1st of July with the resumption in passenger flights.

My Department is in ongoing discussions with Shannon Group in relation to potential supports from Government to help mitigate the impacts of Covid-19. In this regard, Shannon Group wrote formally to the Department on this issue on 23 April, 22 May, 8 July and 20 July, 2020.  I can also confirm to the Deputies that Minister Naughton has also met recently with the CEO and Chair of Shannon Group.

My Department is currently undertaking a thorough examination of the future viability and sustainability of the Group, and I will consider restructuring measures, financial supports and any other measures that may be necessary and appropriate as part of a wider review of Shannon Group.   I will bring recommendations to Government in this regard in due course.  

As I have recently stated, it is my intention that the Company will be well positioned operationally to contribute to the post pandemic recovery, particularly given the importance of Shannon Airport to the economy of the Midwest and Western regions and indeed nationally.

Duncan Smith (Dublin Fingal, Labour)
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133. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if correspondence with a company (details supplied) since 1 January 2020 in relation to support measures to assist the company to cope with the long-term effects of the Covid-19 pandemic will be provided; the dates of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18000/20]

Duncan Smith (Dublin Fingal, Labour)
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134. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if correspondence with a company (details supplied) since 1 January 2020 in relation to support measures to assist the company to cope with the long-term effects of the Covid-19 pandemic will be provided; the dates of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18001/20]

Photo of Eamon RyanEamon Ryan (Dublin Bay South, Green Party)
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I propose to take Questions Nos. 133 and 134 together.

My Department is assessing the financial impact of COVID-19 on the Irish aviation sector on an ongoing basis. The sector was represented on the Aviation Recovery Taskforce and the final report of this group was recently published. The recommendations contained in this Report will be considered as appropriate in the context of the ongoing work to manage the impact of COVID-19 on aviation and the wider economy.

In order to assist businesses and protect employment, the Government has already put in place a comprehensive suite of supports for companies of all sizes, including those in the aviation sector, which includes the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme and the ISIF Pandemic Stabilisation and Recovery Fund. It remains open to airlines to engage directly with the relevant agencies concerned with a view to drawing down such supports. The amount of any funding sought by each airline would be a commercial matter for the airlines concerned.

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