Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Questions (653)

Seán Kyne

Question:

653. Deputy Seán Kyne asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport further to the reduction of the air travel tax to 0%, if his Department is engaging with airlines and airports with a view to establishing additional routes, particularly to and from regionally-based airports, which are essential for enhancing accessibility for, among others, economic and tourism reasons. [15420/14]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

As the Deputy will be aware, the reduction in the travel tax to zero that was announced as part of Budget 2014 will be effective from April 2014. This was designed to generate additional air capacity and services to Ireland for the business and tourism sectors. 2013, the year of the Gathering, was the best year for inbound tourism since 2008. I intend 2014 to be even better thanks to the Wild Atlantic way, better value for money and competitive and direct air access.  In line with the zero travel tax both Irish and foreign airlines announced 34 new routes/services at Irish airports for the 2014 season.  My focus as Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport is to encourage airlines and our airports to generate even more direct air services into Ireland in the years ahead.