Thursday, 24 September 2020

Questions (87, 88)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

87. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Transport the short to medium-term steps he can take to support air transport in the context of the Covid-19 crisis with particular reference to the need to ensure that Irish-based airlines are not disadvantaged on the world market; if he remains satisfied that adequate assistance remains available to airline such as companies (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26253/20]

View answer

Bernard Durkan

Question:

88. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Transport if he remains satisfied that, in the context of state aid towards airlines, the Irish airlines do not become disadvantaged by the extent to which state aid has been extended to their competitors on European or world markets; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26254/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 87 and 88 together.

My Department is monitoring the financial impact of COVID-19 on the Irish aviation sector on an ongoing basis, in consultation with all key stakeholders and relevant Government Departments.

The Government has put in place a range of supports for businesses, including those in aviation. The supports include the extended wage subsidy scheme, which will now run to April 2021, alleviation of commercial rates, tax clawback, and liquidity support available through the ISIF Pandemic Stabilisation and Recovery Fund.

It remains open to airlines to engage directly with the relevant agencies concerned with a view to drawing down such supports. The amount of any funding sought by each airline would be a commercial matter for the airlines concerned.

The report of the Aviation Recovery Taskforce contains a number of recommendations relating to the provision of further support to the sector including through stimulus funding to aid recovery, and these recommendations are being considered, as appropriate, in the context of the ongoing work to manage the impact of COVID-19 on aviation and the wider economy.

The Government recently decided that it would broadly support the European Commission's proposed common approach to travel restrictions and movement within the EU.