Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Ceisteanna (28, 46)

Sandra McLellan

Ceist:

28. Deputy Sandra McLellan asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the key factors promoted by his Department and agencies to encourage development of the aviation leasing industry. [33508/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Peadar Tóibín

Ceist:

46. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the value and number of jobs directly sustained by the aircraft leasing sector. [33491/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Jobs)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 28 and 46 together.

Details of the number of employees in the aircraft leasing sector are not available as, for statistical purposes, that sector is included with others to form the financial services sector in which there were 16,803 people employed in 2012. I am mindful, however, that the aviation sector contributes approximately €4.1 billion directly to the Irish economy and that Ireland is responsible for half of the world's aircraft leasing. A report from Oxford Economics in 2012 estimated the air transport industry directly employed 26,000 people and a further 16,000 people are estimated to be employed along the air transport supply chain.

In light of the above, the Government, through its Action Plan for Jobs 2013, agreed that it would support the development of the aviation industry in Ireland. In that regard, I recently launched the new Enterprise Ireland €375,000 Competitive Feasibility Fund. The Fund will provide up to €25,000 to support new start up companies or individual entrepreneurs to investigate the viability of a new significant growth oriented business or proposition in the aviation sector. It will also support established companies or groups of businesses to examine the potential for expansion, diversification or spinning out of a new enterprise in the industry. The funding will enable the promoters to reach firm conclusions regarding the project's viability and strategies for developing and commercialising the innovative product or service on international markets. The fund, which will remain open until 16 September, is open to applications from the aviation sector including financial services associated with the sector, aircraft and engine leasing, aviation software and IT, training, travel related software and related services, small aircraft assembly, and other engineering and technical activities.

IDA Ireland continues to market Ireland as a location for aircraft leasing on the basis of a number of selling points, including the following:

- Ireland is an established major centre of global significance, with 9 of the top 10 industry leaders having operations in Ireland. This is partly due to the longevity of the industry going back to the establishment of GPA as one of the first aircraft leasing companies in the world;

- The availability of a talented pool of people with superior levels of expertise and commercial technical and legal experience;

- A pro-business and technologically advanced environment; and

- An attractive corporate tax rate and double taxation treaty network.

IDA Ireland has confirmed that the above points are consistently cited as reasons why key global corporations continue to select Ireland as a destination of choice for aircraft leasing. The aircraft leasing sector continues to grow globally and, notwithstanding competition from other locations, IDA Ireland has assured me that it will continue to seek to win investment in this sector.