Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Questions (104)

Darren O'Rourke


104. Deputy Darren O'Rourke asked the Minister for Transport his views on the loss of air connectivity by Ireland in the wake of Covid-19; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that services are being transferred abroad (details supplied); and the measures he will take to address the matter. [2770/21]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on aviation, not just in Ireland but globally. Air services around the world have been reduced significantly, and thousands of aircraft remain grounded. As an island nation, this drop in connectivity has hit Ireland especially hard. While the loss of air services is a concern it is, unfortunately, an unavoidable consequence of the public health measures that are necessary to reduce transmission of COVID-19.

I am aware of Aer Lingus's plan to begin operating air services from Manchester to the United States through a subsidiary. I do not accept that it is correct to say that services are being transferred abroad. I understand that Aer Lingus is fully committed to rebuilding services to/from Ireland when circumstances allow. The Deputy will no doubt also be aware that the Government has made provision this year's estimates for €20m to incentivise the restoration of connectivity.