Aer Lingus slots only secure when state share remains – Ellis
Sinn Féin Transport spokesperson Dessie Ellis has said that any proposal by IAG to ensure extended access for Irish routes from Heathrow will only delay the inevitable loss of these slots in the future to more profitable East Asian or South American routes.
He made these comments as the cabinet prepares a response to a report on the IAG bid to buy the state’s share in Aer Lingus, amid rumours of new commitments from IAG.
Deputy Ellis said;
"Losing these vital routes in 6 months or 5 years or even later is still bad for our country, Aer Lingus and our economy. Delaying the damage this would do is not worth selling off the state stake when the state’s stake can be more effectively use to serve Irish interests.
“Ireland is a small island nation and our economy needs access which is consistent and secure. We cannot jeopardise that by throwing away the links that Aer Lingus provides us. This is the consensus of most of the experts who have spoken on the IAG offer and the importance of Aer Lingus.
“This proposal also does nothing to stop the loss of an estimated 1,200 jobs following any takeover by IAG. The Iberia airline company has shed 4,500 jobs since being taken over by IAG.
“We cannot afford to lose the connectivity Aer Lingus gives us and we cannot afford to lose potentially thousands of good jobs."