Question to the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Mr. Paschal Donohoe, TD)
To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the way the proposed sale of Aer Lingus to the International Airlines Group will benefit Cork Airport; and if he will make a statement on the matter. – Jerry Buttimer
For WRITTEN ANSWER on 17, June, 2015.
The Government considers that a sale of the State’s minority shareholding to IAG, on the basis of the terms offered, would be the best means of securing and enhancing Ireland’s connectivity with the rest of the world and maintaining a vibrant and competitive air transport industry in Ireland. It would also best serve the interests of the travelling public, Aer Lingus and its employees, the Irish tourism industry and the Irish economy as a whole. IAG has stated its willingness to offer commitments in relation to Aer Lingus’s Heathrow slots and connectivity, which would also cover services between Cork and Heathrow. I have given full details on these commitments to the House very recently during the debate on the general principles of the proposed disposal of the State’s shareholding.
Furthermore, in relation to Cork, IAG has indicated its plans are that the Cork-Paris and Cork-Amsterdam routes will be maintained and that growth opportunities with tourism and business interests in the Munster region will be pursued to exploit the potential that exists in all the short haul routes currently operated by Aer Lingus from Cork. Aer Lingus has indicated that a combination with IAG would also underpin a planned Cork-Germany service.