Question to the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Dr Leo Varadkar, TD)
To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the response of the airline industry to the abolition of the travel tax; and if he will make a statement on the matter. – Jerry Buttimer.
For WRITTEN answer on Thursday, 7th November, 2013.
The zero rate travel tax initiative is part of a process aimed at generating new airline routes into Ireland and will come into effect from April 2014. There has been a positive response to the initiative from airlines so far with Ryanair and Aer Lingus Regional both announcing details of new routes and increased services from Dublin, Shannon, Cork and Knock.
Ryanair has said it will grow its traffic at Irish airports by at least one million passengers per annum from April 2014 in response to this initiative. To date it has announced new routes and additional services at Shannon and Knock. These account for around 380,000 of the projected one million increase and are estimated to support in the region of 380 jobs. Aer Lingus Regional has also announced a 10% increase its flights from Cork and Dublin.
I would like to see further announcements of this kind from those and other airlines to the various Irish airports. More flights into Ireland at more locations will mean more visitors from overseas, and a bigger tourism dividend. The Irish airports and Tourism Ireland have attractive incentive and marketing programmes available which will help support new services and build on the success of The Gathering in the months ahead.