Fine Gael’s Clare and Limerick Oireachtas members have secured a commitment from An Tánaiste Leo Varadkar that he will, along with Transport Minister Eamon Ryan and Minister of State Hildegarde Naughton, seek an urgent meeting with Aer Lingus looking for a deferral of today’s decision by the airline to close its Shannon cabin crew base.
The Fine Gael group comprising Minister of State, Patrick O’Donovan; Deputies Joe Carey and Kieran O’Donnell; and Senators Maria Byrne and Martin Conway, held an urgently convened meeting with An Tánaiste, Leo Varadkar, this afternoon in response to the announcement by Aer Lingus that they plan to close their cabin crew base at Shannon Airport.
The group said:
“This afternoon we urgently convened a meeting with An Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, seeking Government intervention in relation to the planned closure of the Aer Lingus cabin crew base at Shannon Airport.
“Closure of the Aer Lingus cabin crew base would be hugely detrimental to Shannon and the wider region and of course gravely affects the 81 cabin crew staff who have been based at Shannon for many years. Our deep concern is first and foremost with these staff on this most difficult day. It’s a very distressing time for them and their families and they deserve better treatment from the airline.
“Upon our request, An Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has agreed to seek an immediate meeting with Aer Lingus, along with Minister Eamon Ryan and Minister of State Hildegarde Naughton, looking for the company to defer this decision.
“All staff affected are currently on the pandemic unemployment payment and so Aer Lingus are not incurring any staff costs here as we work through the Covid crisis. As we commence the careful reopening of society, Government has yet to announce the reopening plan for aviation and so it is extremely premature for Aer Lingus to take any decision such as this.
“We are unanimous in our view that this decision should be deferred, and we are also seeking a strong commitment from Aer Lingus in relation to Shannon’s strategic Heathrow and transatlantic routes.”