Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Housing, Darragh O’Brien and Spokesperson on Transport, Tourism and Sport, Marc MacSharry have called on the government to tackle decisive action to protect the viability of Aer Lingus and Dublin Airport.
The Covid-19 crisis has devastated the aviation industry and its associated jobs with flights dramatically scaled back and airports effectively empty.
Deputy MacSharry said: “Ensuring a smooth supply chain in terms of medical and other essential supplies, as well as food, has never been more important to Ireland. While passenger air travel must be avoided, Ireland will still need to use air transport for these essentials. I believe that the state should work with Aer Lingus to use their wide body aircrafts to offer cargo services, which will provide much-needed support to the airline while benefitting Ireland’s efforts against the virus.”
Deputy O’Brien added: “It’s vital to Ireland as a small open economy to preserve a functioning aviation public infrastructure supporting good quality jobs. We need to take action to protect Aer Lingus and Dublin Airport as well as other regional airports and ensure they are in a position to recover once this crisis has passed. This is crucial in maintaining vital supplies during the crisis and re-building our economy once it passes.”
“I and my party have been strong supporters of the Airport’s continued development and growth, and we won’t be found wanting at this difficult time for the airport.”
“I am calling on Minister Ross to engage with Aer Lingus, CityJet, and other airlines, as well as the DAA and regional airports to set out a clear plan to save jobs and protect our vital connections across the globe. We need to see actions such as ensuring enough financial support and aid is immediately available to Aer Lingus and Dublin Airport, as well as other regional airports in Ireland to prevent insolvency.
“We need to work at an EU level to ensure appropriate supports are in place to ensure the aviation industry is capable of a full recovery and to review specific financial support for all those employees in the aviation industry that goes above the Pandemic Payment.
“Now is the time for clear action to protect lives and the long term strengthen of our economy,” Deputy O’Brien concluded.