Loss of Cork Aer Lingus base cannot be contemplated - Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD
Sinn Féin TD for Cork South Central Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD has called on the government to intervene in the escalating crisis at Aer Lingus. His comments come as Aer Lingus as it has been reported that the Aer Lingus Base in Cork could be scrapped, and that 500 redundancies will be sought.
Speaking this evening, Teachta Ó Laoghaire said: “Under no circumstances can the loss of the Cork Aer Lingus base be contemplated.
“This is very concerning news coming from Aer Lingus this evening that will only add to the stress and anxiety of workers at the airline. There are hundreds of Aer Lingus workers in Cork, and they will be deeply worried by this news.
“The pandemic has obviously had a major impact on the airline industry, but the government here have taken a complete hands-off approach to dealing with it.
“In May, and again in June, I wanted the Government that it cannot simply watch this happen, it needs direct action.
“The pandemic is having an enormous impact on travel and aviation - but Cork will still need air travel when this is all over, and these workers and families will need jobs. I have been urging the Government, to start planning for the future. It has done nothing.
"We had an acting Minister who was missing in action since the election and now a Minister who just isn’t interested in this part of his portfolio as far as I can see.
“The Fine Gael/Labour government should never have sold off the State’s remaining shares in Aer Lingus in 2015, and unfortunately the consequences of this are now coming to the fore.
"But the Government can and should intervene, it needs to develop a plan for sustainability in aviation, and it needs to do it urgently, and especially for
"The Ireland 2040 plan talks a lot about balanced regional development. How can we have balanced regional development if Cork doesn’t have a base for the national carrier?
"It simply cannot be allowed to happen.
“We have the Taoiseach and 2 more senior Ministers in this constituency. Taoiseach Martin, and Ministers Coveney and McGrath need to address this urgently.
"These jobs need to be safeguarded, this base needs to be safeguarded.
"The Department must engage with aviation staff, and all stakeholders to develop a roadmap for what the future of Irish aviation will be, and to safeguard workers incomes and rights."