Sinn Féin spokesperson on Transport, Darren O’Rourke TD, and spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Louise O’Reilly TD, today reacted to the news that Stobart Air has ceased operations.
Teachta O’Rourke said:
“This news is a huge blow for the aviation sector. It will have a devastating impact on workers in the sector and serves to further reduce essential regional connectivity. Government must intervene to halt and reverse this trend.
“Airline workers have endured a very difficult 15 months on severely reduced pay, and this news will come as a devastating blow to workers and their families this morning.
“While the pandemic has had a disastrous impact on the aviation industry, a lack of interest from the Minister for Transport over the past year has exacerbated the crisis in the sector here. The dithering on the Covid Cert and antigen testing is further evidence of this.
“Sinn Féin have been calling for a survival and recovery package for the sector to be put in place for months now.
“We said it was imperative that while international travel was on hold due to Covid-19, extra measures and state support was needed to ensure routes and jobs were still there once the pandemic subsides.
“Unfortunately, the Government’s failure to do this is now costing even more aviation jobs and vital routes.
“These routes were viable before the pandemic, and they will be again.
“The Government must intervene to protect these jobs and the vital connectivity this airline provided across Ireland and Britain.
“As an island nation, we cannot afford to let these vital regional air connections for families, businesses and tourism disappear.”
Teachta O’Reilly said:
“The government need to engage with the airline as a matter of urgency now to ensure that the workers who affected are supported.
“It is vital that any collective agreements are respected and the government must ensure this happens.”