Aontu councillor Emer Toíbin has criticised lack of government support for the aviation sector and told Meath Live it will come at a cost to the Royal county.
She claimed,“Over the past few weeks, constituents from Meath have been reaching out to me raising serious concerns over the government’s continued refusal to adequately support the aviation industry. I have been speaking to trainee and graduate pilots who after years of training and thousands of euros in fees are still grounded and facing huge uncertainty. I have been speaking to pubs, hotels and small businesses who are worried the collapse of the aviation sector will have a domino effect on their businesses come the summer. The airline industry cannot be looked at as a standalone sector as there are multiple sectors reliant on the industry for their survival.
The loss of a second consecutive summer season, coming after an entire year of practically zero revenue could prove fatal for airlines. The €80 million support package for the Irish Aviation Sector announced last November was viewed essentially as a grant for Ireland’s airports. Compared to our European counterparts, the state’s support has been bewildering. New Zealand, moved quickly to extend supports worth $900 million to Air New Zealand, Lufthansa €10 billion, Air France €7 billion, BA €2.5 billion, Air Portugal €1.2 billion. The British Government provided a loan worth €670 million to Ryanair. Why doesn’t our government place similar or equal value on the contribution of our aviation industry to our economy?
Our airlines are intrinsic to the success of an island nation like Ireland bringing, amongst other things, FDI and an estimated €10 billion into the Irish economy annually. It is an economic fact that if our airlines are not supported properly now, they may face closure the consequences of which would be felt by us all for many years. As international travel endures continued and prolonged suppression due to delayed action and policy decision by our government, then it falls to them to put in place urgent and substantial supports. Otherwise sectoral collapse awaits this industry and we will all pay the price.’’