Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Ceisteanna (563)

James Browne


563. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the position regarding the creation of a flight between Dublin and Tokyo; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47751/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The commencement of new air services is a commercial decision for airlines, in consultation with airports and other relevant agencies.

Ireland's National Aviation Policy, published by my Department in 2015, details our commitment to increasing our air connectivity. In that context, my department has sought to engage bilaterally with the aeronautical authorities of Japan over the past number of years with a view to negotiating a bilateral Air Service Agreement (ASA). This would provide the legal framework to allow for the operation of scheduled air services between Japan and Ireland, and for the grant of air traffic rights should an airline of either State wish to enter the market.

This year, following a period of consultations, a Record of Discussions was signed between the aeronautical authorities of both Ireland and Japan in Tokyo on 18 October.

The document sets out a shared understanding and a commitment to work towards an ASA at the appropriate time. The signing of this document serves as a valuable step in developing our aviation relations with Japan. It is hoped that this high level bilateral engagement will provide a positive signal to industry that the two Governments are open to facilitating the commencement of direct air services.