Tuesday, 2 July 2019

Ceisteanna (599, 608, 610)

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

599. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if the issue of potentially unfair commercial advantage for an airline (details supplied) and market distortion issues were considered before a decision was made in relation to the recently issued permit for the airline to operate a service between Dublin and Madrid; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27921/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Seán Haughey

Ceist:

608. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the reason a permit has been issued to an airline (details supplied) to operate a service between Dublin and Madrid under the fifth freedom provisions; if his attention has been drawn to concerns of Irish-based pilots to the effect that this potentially confers an unfair commercial advantage on the airline in view of its low cost base; his views on whether this could result in serious competitive distortions; his further views on whether the route is already well served by three EU airlines; if Dublin Airport has the capacity to deal with these extra flights; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28048/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Thomas P. Broughan

Ceist:

610. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the reason his Department has issued a permit for a company (details supplied) to operate under the fifth freedom between Dublin and Madrid; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that fifth freedom rights can often result in serious competitive distortions for EU aviation services that often cannot compete with non-EU airlines; if an analysis on same has been completed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28128/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 599, 608 and 610 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 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.