Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Partial sale of Aer Lingus will lead to total Privatisation

22 March, 2005


Sinn Féin Transport spokesperson, Seán Crowe has said, "Any partial sale of Aer Lingus will inevitably lead to the total privatisation of the State airline." Deputy Crowe was speaking today as the Minister for Transport, Mr Martin Cullen, was due to present proposals to the cabinet that outlin plans to sell off part of the company.

Deputy Crowe said "Aer Lingus is a very profitable airline. The claim that there is a need for a partial sell off to finance the development of the airline is a dubious one. The fear is that it is being used as an excuse to advance the privatisation agenda of sections of this Government. Any partial sale of Aer Lingus will inevitably lead to the total privatisation of the State airline.

"To allow the state airline to fall into the hands of a private business would be foolish. We cannot under estimate the value of having a national carrier. We are an island economy on the edge of Europe. Our ability to contact and trade with the rest of the world should not be at the whim of external or private enterprises. We need a State airline, a national carrier. Aer Lingus is successfully fulfilling that duty and the State should look at it as an asset to invest in rather than a burden to divest itself of."

On the issue of a second terminal for Dublin airport Mr. Crowe said, "Sinn Féin fully supports the development of a second terminal at Dublin airport as it is crucial to the overall development of the airpo t as a whole." ENDS

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