- Up to 130 jobs to be lost
- Huge loss for Clare and Midwest region
Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Tourism and Aviation Cathal Crowe is calling for immediate state action to attempt to reverse Aer Lingus’ decision to pull out of Shannon Airport for good.
The airline has this afternoon confirmed its intentions to permanently close its base at Shannon, putting 130 workers’ jobs on the line.
The 81 cabin crew members based in Shannon are to be offered “enhanced” redundancy terms or, where possible, a transfer to Dublin Airport, while around 45 ground crew will be laid off.
“This news is beyond devastating for all of the Aer Lingus staff who work out of the Shannon Airport base and is equally devastating for Shannon Airport and the Midwest region overall,” said Deputy Crowe.
“Aer Lingus has a long and proud history spanning over seven decades in and out of Shannon Airport and today’s announcement by the airline puts an end to that.
“I don’t think this should be accepted as a fate a complete. I have asked the Taoiseach to intervene in the case and speak with the company directly, because even though the job losses are central to everyone’s thoughts, there are even wider ramifications for our region when one considers the loss of connectivity to the US, Heathrow and continental Europe.
“Without Aer Lingus flying out of Shannon, we are left with very little.
“The Digital Green Cert will be implemented in a matter of weeks and its final agreement and implementation is contingent on it being ratified by all EU member states – the fate of Irish aviation and the fate of Shannon Airport hugely depends on this deal being struck and international air travel resuming in the quickest possible time.
“In recent years, Aer Lingus’ commitment to Shannon has been questionable – at a whim they’ve moved aircraft to serve routes out of Dublin and more recently to Manchester.
“Shannon Airport, although an international airport, is very reliant on Aer Lingus and Ryanair in terms of regular outbound and inbound services – other airports are able to spread their offering over a broad spectrum of airlines so this withdrawal of commitment from Aer Lingus adds huge pressure on top of the existing pressure on Shannon.
“Whilst Covid has had a devastating impact on international aviation, it alone doesn’t account for the entirety of today’s decision by Aer Lingus.
“The decision is a commercial one but I hope that some eleventh hour interventions from government and other stakeholders in the region can avert this.
“As my party’s Aviation Spokesperson but moreover as a TD for Co. Clare, I recognise fully that the fate of our region lives and dies with Shannon and I pledge to the Aer Lingus workers and all who hold Shannon Airport close to their hearts that I will do everything possible, along with others, to try to save the airline’s Shannon base.”