The Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan T.D. and Minister of State, Hildegarde Naughton T.D. met with Lynne Embleton, CEO of Aer Lingus, to discuss details of the announcement made by the company yesterday.
The meeting was an open and frank engagement between the Ministers and the airline. Both ministers acknowledged the very difficult and unprecedented challenges being faced by Aer Lingus and their staff and the cost pressures leading to their decision.
The Ministers reiterated the Government’s commitment to support the industry and acknowledged the importance of providing clarity on the extent and duration of the employment supports beyond the end of June.
The Ministers reassured the airline that there would be no cliff-edge in supports. The Ministers also confirmed that the Government recognises that the critical issue for industry is a roadmap for the restoration of international travel when circumstances allow and signalled that the Government will set out an initial pathway for the re-opening of international travel at its meeting next week.
The meeting also focused on the future operations of the company in Ireland, with the Ministers outlining their hopes for a resumption of travel from Cork and Shannon when the situation allows.
The Ministers welcomed confirmation by Ms Embleton that there is no strategic intent to reduce connectivity at either Cork or Shannon while acknowledging that the restoration of services would depend on market circumstances.
The Ministers also met with CEO of Shannon Group, Mary Considine and CEO of Cork Airport, Niall McCarthy to brief them on the situation and reiterated their support for the airports and their important role in regional development.
Similar engagements took place between Minister Naughton and unions and employer representative groups in her capacity as Chair of the Labour Employer Economic Forum, an aviation sub-group, at its meeting earlier today.