SHANNON Group CEO Mary Considine this afternoon expressed her sympathy for the Aer Lingus workers about to lose their jobs.
“Our thoughts are with the Shannon based Aer Lingus employees impacted by this decision. It is extremely disappointing news for them.
“This announcement highlights once again the devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic across the aviation sector here. Restoring regional connectivity and international travel will be pivotal to economic recovery as we emerge from the effects of the pandemic. Critical to this will be the urgent implementation of a clear road map and timelines for the restart of aviation.
“Aer Lingus remains a valued partner for Shannon Group, and we value our long-established and continuing relationship with the airline. We are committed to working with them and all our aviation partners on the restoration of vital services to and from Shannon Airport which are critical for business and tourism sectors.”
Clare TD Michael McNamara slammed the Government’s aviation policy in the Dáil, warning the Taoiseach that he was at risk of leaving a disastrous legacy. “One thing that Fianna Fáil built was Shannon Airport-you’re going to take it down around you Taoiseach,” he bellowed.
He said Ireland hasn’t made use of antigen testing or taken a shareholding in an airline or airlines and asked “Why are we so out of synch with the rest of the world?”
When the Taoiseach denied that Ireland was out of synch, he was interrupted by an angry Deputy McNamara, who urged him not to mislead the House.
Clare TD Cathal Crowe said he is hopeful that the decision could yet be reversed. “Shannon Airport, although an international airport, is very reliant on Aer Lingus and Ryanair in terms of regular outbound and inbound services – other airports are able to spread their offering over a broad spectrum of airlines so this withdrawal of commitment from Aer Lingus adds huge pressure on top of the existing pressure on Shannon.
“Whilst Covid has had a devastating impact on international aviation, it alone doesn’t account for the entirety of today’s decision by Aer Lingus. The decision is a commercial one but I hope that some eleventh hour interventions from government and other stakeholders in the region can avert this.
“As my party’s Aviation Spokesperson but moreover as a TD for Co. Clare, I recognise fully that the fate of our region lives and dies with Shannon and I pledge to the Aer Lingus workers and all who hold Shannon Airport close to their hearts that I will do everything possible, along with others, to try to save the airline’s Shannon base.”