Tuesday, 25 May 2021
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
152. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will liaise with a company (details supplied) to request the company to review its decision to withdraw to service and crew from Shannon Airport; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28107/21]
Minister of State Naughton and I met with the CEO of Aer Lingus on 19 May to discuss their latest announcement on restructuring and the closure of bases in Cork and Shannon. I acknowledged the very difficult and unprecedented challenges being faced by Aer Lingus. In that context, and in light of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, Aer Lingus has decided to take measures to reduce its cost base. It is also noted that many other European airlines are also implementing significant cost saving measures in light of the circumstances currently facing the industry.
Government is committed to supporting the industry during this difficult time and a broad range of financial supports are available to the aviation sector. I also understand and fully appreciate that the critical issue for industry is a roadmap for the restoration of international travel. The Government intends to set out a pathway for the reopening of international travel at its meeting on 28 May.
I have also met with the CEOs of both Shannon Group, and Cork Airport to brief them on the situation, and reiterated the Government's support for the airports and their important role in regional development. Similar engagement took place between Minister Naughton and worker and employer representative groups, in her capacity as Chair of the Aviation Sub-group of the Labour Employer Economic Forum at its recent meeting.