Aviation crisis meetings to be held to 'help find solutions to industry issues'

Aviation crisis meetings to be held to 'help find solutions to industry issues'

Two airplanes on the stands at Cork Airport. Pic: Larry Cummins

The Committee on Transport and Communications Networks has announced plans to hold a series of public hearings commencing on Tuesday as the committee seeks to intensify its work to address the aviation crisis.

The Committee will hear from seven organisations across two days of hearings with the aim of finding solutions with respect to the industry, including the major airports at Dublin, Cork and Shannon.

Tuesday’s meeting will see representatives from the Irish Aviation Authority and The European Commission appear.

Wednesday will see Ryanair, Aer Lingus, Daa, Shannon Group and Rome Airport appear with the meetings viewable live on Oireachtas TV.

Earlier this month, Ryanair confirmed to The Echo that 80 crew members working at Cork Airport were to be temporarily laid off after the company announced that it was to close its winter base at the airport, as well as in Shannon.

Three routes serving Cork over the winter will be retained including Stansted, Katowice and Gdansk, however, these routes will be operated by aircraft and staff based outside of Ireland.

Chair of the Oireachtas Committee on Transport and Communication Networks, Kieran O’Donnell, said: “The decision of Ryanair to close its Cork and Shannon Airports bases and the concerns around the EU traffic light system for air travel are to the fore in terms of our priorities for the week ahead.

“As a committee we have already written to the Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan and Government asking for adoption of the European Commission’s traffic light system for common rules on travel, and an indication as to how soon this will be implemented. We have already sought details of plans for and progress in implementing testing at Irish airports,” he said.

Deputy O’Donnell said that Covid-19 has had a “devastating impact on the aviation sector across Ireland” with 140,000 jobs impacted.

“There are also indirect job losses associated with the Cork and Shannon base closures by Ryanair,” he said.

Tuesday’s meeting will commence at 11.30am at www.oireachtas.ie/en/oireachtas-tv/oireachtas-tv-channel/.

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