SIPTU says immediate action needed to support aviation following flight cancellations
SIPTU representatives are calling for immediate and significant government action to support the aviation sector following the announcement today (Saturday, 12th June) that Aer Lingus Regional is cancelling all flights. The cancellation follows the ceasing of operations by Stobart Air, which has resulted in its cancelling of its franchise agreement with Aer Lingus to operate regional air routes within Ireland.
SIPTU Sector Organiser, Neil McGowan, said: “The decision by Stobart Air to cease operations is the latest blow to the aviation industry and airports in Ireland. The move has put hundreds of jobs at immediate risk.
“Aer Lingus Regional through its franchise agreement with Stobart Air operated the Public Service Obligation (PSO) routes from Dublin to Kerry Airport and Donegal Airport. These routes are of vital importance to these regional airports. It is crucial that these PSO routes are maintained and the Government takes immediate steps to restore these services.
He added: “The restrictions in place in relation to air travel in Ireland are among the most severe in Europe yet the level of support provided to the sector by the Government is significantly below that of other EU states. Over the last year, SIPTU representatives have made repeated calls for significant support to be provided to the aviation sector and its workforce.”
SIPTU Transport, Energy, Aviation and Construction Division Organiser, Karan O Loughlin, said: “The government needs to move immediately to ensure that the PSO routes to Kerry and Donegal are restored. These routes provide vital connectivity and employment to the southwest and northwest regions. SIPTU representatives have delivered a consistent message to the Government throughout the pandemic that major support must be provided to the aviation sector. To date, the Government has failed to take adequate action in this regard.
She added: “The sector is now in a critical condition with its future, and that of thousands of jobs, now in the balance.”
Thirty SIPTU members are employed at Donegal Airport and a further ten employed in Kerry Airport.