Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Questions (103, 613, 614, 624, 656, 657)

Brendan Ryan

Question:

103. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his views on the issuing of a permit to an airline (details supplied) to operate a service between Dublin and Madrid under the fifth freedom; his views on whether this provides the airline with an unfair competitive advantage over domestic and European airlines; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29581/19]

View answer

Marc MacSharry

Question:

613. Deputy Marc MacSharry asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the way in which he will ensure that the recent fifth freedom agreement with an airline (details supplied) protects competition and consumers here. [29226/19]

View answer

Marc MacSharry

Question:

614. Deputy Marc MacSharry asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his views on whether the recent fifth freedom agreement signed with an airline (details supplied) will undermine or threaten EU airlines operating here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29227/19]

View answer

Frank O'Rourke

Question:

624. Deputy Frank O'Rourke asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the reason for the recent granting of a fifth freedom permit to an airline (details supplied) to operate a service between Dublin and Madrid in view of the fact that the Dublin to Madrid route is already served by three EU airlines that are cumulatively providing over 39 services per week; his views on whether the granting of routes under the fifth freedom is commercially damaging to domestic airlines; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29454/19]

View answer

Imelda Munster

Question:

656. Deputy Imelda Munster asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the reason for recent decision to grant fifth freedom rights to an airline (details supplied) to operate commercial flights from Dublin to Madrid; if unions that represent workers in the aviation industry were consulted regarding the change; if not, the reason; his views on whether unions in cases of this nature should be consulted; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29755/19]

View answer

Maureen O'Sullivan

Question:

657. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his views on whether the granting of a fifth freedom licence to an airline (details supplied) to operate a Dublin to Madrid service will place EU based airlines at a competitive disadvantage; the reason for issuing the licence; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29763/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 103, 613, 614, 624, 656 and 657 together.

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 to 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.