Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Questions (324)

Noel Rock


324. Deputy Noel Rock asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the reason his Department awarded a fifth freedom permit to an airline (details supplied) to operate a service between Dublin and Madrid; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28454/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

The Ireland - Ethiopia Bilateral Air Services Agreement, signed in 2014, allows for the granting of fifth freedom air traffic rights for airlines of both countries, on a reciprocal basis and subject to the approval of the relevant aeronautical authorities.

Ethiopian Airlines applied to both the Spanish and Irish aeronautical authorities in 2018 for approval of their Addis Ababa - Madrid - Dublin (return) route. Following confirmation of approval by the Spanish Aeronautical Authorities and having consulted with Irish air carriers, the Department authorised the route as it conformed with the rights provided under the Air Services Agreement.

Ireland traditionally has a liberal aviation policy and remains positively disposed towards the development of competitive air services. In that context, my Department will continue to consider applications for fifth freedom air traffic rights under bilateral air services agreements, on a case-by-case basis.