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Shannon airport

Green aviation opportunity for Shannon Airport

‘ELECTRIC Airport’ designation should be sought for Shannon, according to a member of the local authority. Councillor Johnny Flynn tabled a motion at the July meeting of the council asking that the government and Shannon Group be urged to plan for the use of green electricity at the facility. He said the move would help Ireland to meet its climate action targets in reducing emissions from the aviation sector and help secure the future of Shannon Airport. “We all know how important Shannon Airport is and that it contributes €3.6bn to Ireland’s GDP, supporting 43,700 jobs,” the Fine Gael member outlined. “We also know that aviation has to change and to decarbonise. There are a number of Irish companies involved in developing electric planes and we should be building the infrastructure. We know that aviation will have to green its processes.” The motion was seconded by Cathaoirleach, Councillor PJ Ryan. Councillor Pat McMahon also gave his support, saying that the …

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1,000 Clare People On Passport Waiting List

A Clare Deputy has called for action to clear the backlog of passport applications after new figures revealed 1,000  local people are on a waiting list. New information provided to Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Tourism and Aviation and TD for Clare, Cathal Crowe, show that there is a backlog of 1,000 passport applications in Clare. Out of the overall total, 900 are for renewals with 100 first time applications. Deputy Crowe commented, “The challenge of clearing this backlog will be significant and I hope it can be addressed soon. While obviously the fundamental reason for having a passport is that of international travel, it is not of huge importance right now, nonetheless it is essential that we resume normal service as soon as possible. “The target for vaccination against Covid-19 is for 80 percent of adults to have at least had one jab by the end of June. Similar targets exist across Europe. If these are achieved, it is likely …

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Aer Lingus staff at Clare airport laid off until summer

AER Lingus has confirmed it is to lay off all 129 Inflight Service and Ground Operations staff in Shannon Airport from next Monday, March 8, until June 7. The workers will not receive a wage for the duration of this layoff and Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Aviation Cathal Crowe has labelled the move a real blow for the region. “Aer Lingus’s announcement is majorly disappointing and a real blow for its Shannon workers, who have faced almost a year of stress and anxiety about their jobs,” said Deputy Crowe. A statement from the airline referencing the announcement on Friday of its full year results said it showed Aer Lingus recorded an operating of loss of €361m in 2020. “This represents the largest ever loss in the airline’s history and demonstrates the profound impact of Covid-19.  Increased travel restrictions in Ireland and across our network and the subsequent negative impact on demand for travel required us to review our network schedule and …

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McNamara warns ‘Zero Covid’ strategy would devastate Clare economy

ZERO Covid is strategy that would be unworkable and herald the end of tourism and aviation in Clare, according to Deputy Michael McNamara. The approach has been mooted by a growing number of opposition TDs and members of the medical profession and would involve reducing coronavirus cases to an absolute minimum, through a combination of lockdown and tight border controls. “Zero Covid sounds fine,” the Independent TD said, “but even if it was achievable, and I don’t believe that it is, when we can’t decide where we are going to have our border, what then? If we get to zero Covid cases, how are we to maintain that situation without more or less permanent quarantining of people arriving into the country? If that’s to be the system, we can forget about tourism and aviation in Clare, permanently.” The Scariff-based deputy also rejected the narrative that the response to the pandemic involves a trade-off between public health and the economy. “I …

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“Minister Naughton appointment will be a boost Shannon Airport”

SENATOR Martin Conway has acknowledged the appointment of a senior minister from the Mid-West would have been beneficial for Clare but pointed there weren’t enough cabinet ministers to share amongst Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Greens in the new coalition. Asked about the criticism of the lack of a senior minister from Donegal all the way down to Limerick, he acknowledged this was fair commentary but believes the new role for Minister of State Hildegarde Naughton will be a major boost for Shannon Airport. He believes that the fact that Minister Naughton will have responsibility for aviation, international travel, road transport and logistics at the cabinet will be very beneficial for the Mid-West. “What is the point having a senior cabinet minister with a portfolio that may not necessarily impact on us in the Mid-West. “I think there is an awful lot more to be said to have someone sitting at the cabinet table holding a portfolio that can …

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Shannon Group issues State aid plea

SHANNON Airport is to resume passenger services next week, while it has sought a range of supports, as it faces tough new realities. In a submission made by Shannon Group to the State’s Aviation Recovery Taskforce, it has sought “significant and effective funding” to help restore important routes. Shannon has also sought a two-year waiver from commercial rates, for the wage subsidy scheme for aviation/tourism to continue until at least March 2021 and a regionally targeted marketing support scheme to challenge Dublin’s dominance. In addition, Shannon has sought changes to national aviation policy, including a request that the Government designate it Ireland’s dedicated location for commercial transit operations. It has also made a request that consideration be given to providing support to a link between Shannon and a major European hub. While Shannon is to reopen with a number of Ryanair services next week, Aer Lingus have already temporarily laid off all of their workers at the airport and some …

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Shannon airport

Time for Government action on Shannon’s decline

IN Clare, we are rarely at the top of the political or business agenda. This is a peripheral county, the kind of place that advocates of the neo-liberal economic approach of recent years are happy to sacrifice. As the Mid-West’s manufacturing industry was being lost to low-wage economies 10 years ago, we were told it was just the natural order of things and to suck it up. When tech giants go to our capital, rather than to the Clares and Kerrys, we’re told something similar. When previous broadband plans were shelved, it certainly was not a serious problem and as our airport declines, people like departing Transport Minister Shane Ross would find it almost preposterous that Government be required to do something about it. Just over 70,000 people travelled between Shannon and Newark in 2019, many of them high-spending American tourists. This helped keep Clare’s tourism sector going, allowed people to pay mortgages, put shoes on children’s feet and enabled …

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Taskforce for aviation recovery announced

SPEAKING in the Dáil yesterday, caretaker Transport Minister Shane Ross announced a task force for the recovery of the aviation sector. “I know that the aviation industry is anxious to have some visibility of how and when we will move forward to reopening for business and it is concerned that aviation does not feature in the Government’s Roadmap for Reopening Business and Society. I share that concern,” he said “Therefore in addition to establishing a Taskforce for Aviation Recovery my Department is progressing the development of an Aviation Recovery Plan through a number of inter-related strands of work,” Minister Ross added. Outlining some of the plans, he said, “We are looking to the experience of other countries in opening borders and monitor the effectiveness of measures to control any resumption of COVID 19 growth. We will consider how a phased approach to reopening might developed based on the criteria outlined by the European Commission as a basis for an aligned …

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