Aontú Leader & Meath West TD Peadar Tóibín has called on the government to step in and financially support Aer Lingus, and safeguard the livelihoods of Aer Lingus employees and that of their families.

Tóibín: “My office over the past few weeks have been inundated with calls and emails from Aer Lingus employees, who are fearful for their futures. Their jobs are in jeopardy, as Aer Lingus themselves. Airlines in Europe and America are receiving significant subsidies to ensure there are not mass redundancies in the sector. Why is it that our own government cannot see what needs to be done? As put to me by one Aer Lingus employee, ‘the government continues to caution people against travelling except where absolutely necessary and understandable, but there are significant consequences on the Airline industry. If the status quo maintains, it won’t be too long before surplus employees are shown the door.’”

“The numbers going through Cork airport will be down nearly 2 million come the end of the year. The future of Shannon Airport is seemingly in doubt. Knock Airport has been hit by a reduction in Ryan Air services. Regional airports are suffering and running at a loss. These Airports are key to the regional development of Ireland. Ireland has been developing into a city state over the last number of governments. This will accelerate if all international airports do not have a future. International airports are key to Foreign Direct Investment and indigenous enterprise growth. The crisis in our Airports coupled with the existential threat to Aer Lingus will hit the regions significantly. The government must pre-empting the mounting problems facing this sector. The Airline employs thousands of Irish people, and is a crucial component of our economy. The government cannot continue to sit on their hands, as the industry heads towards an iceberg – with employees like those in Aer Lingus liable to being the first thrown overboard to lighten the load.