Sinn Féin spokesperson on Transport Darren O’Rourke TD has called on the government and in particular, Minister Eamon Ryan, to set out the government’s plan to protect jobs in the aviation sector.
Teachta O’Rourke’s comments come as a government report has highlighted how over 140,000 jobs are supported by the air transport sector, with many now in jeopardy due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The Focus on Aerospace and Aviation report prepared by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation highlights the value of the aviation sector to the State and outlines the huge challenges now posed as a result of Covid-19.
“140,000 jobs are supported by the air transport sector here, with many now in jeopardy due to the ongoing pandemic.
“Despite being worth €8.9 billion to our economy annually, little has been done to meet the massive challenges faced by businesses and workers in this area.
“The government have brought forward no specific measures for the aviation sector, putting thousands of jobs at risk.
“It is not just airline staff that are affected, but also tens of thousands of workers employed in our airports, in the maintenance and repair of airplanes, in the leasing industry and thousands more across the travel agency sector.
“These sectors have been hit harder than most and given the trajectory of the pandemic, are likely to take much longer to get back to some level of normality.
“This report goes on to State that ‘unaided, many airlines could go out of business before travel restrictions are lifted.’
“This is a stark warning that needs to be addressed. We need a dedicated support and recovery plan to save as many jobs as possible. I will be raising this directly with the Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan.”