Aviation sector needs recovery plan

 

Sir, – It is heartening to read comments from Diarmuid Ó Conghaile, the recently appointed aviation regulator, calling for a plan “for the recovery of aviation” (“Restart plan needed if air travel to recover from Covid hit, says aviation regulator”, News, April 7th).

The Irish Air Line Pilots’ Association (IALPA) has engaged with many stakeholders in the aviation, tourism and hospitality industry over the course of the past year. What has been clear from our own members, and those whom we have engaged with, is that the lack of a clear plan for support and recovery risks doing irreparable damage that has consequences far beyond the 140,000 people who rely on aviation for their livelihood in this country. Irish tour operators report to us that they are losing their second consecutive summer of business.

While we have seen many initiatives over the course of the pandemic from Government, Ireland has remained as the state with the largest reduction in air traffic. Eurocontrol reports, issued on a weekly basis, show Ireland consistently as the leader with an over 80 per cent reduction in flights. There is no initiative available to reverse this statistic. A corresponding package in recognition of this severe suppression of our industry is required.

We in the IALPA call on Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan to take heed of his own appointee’s call and, along with his Cabinet colleagues, provide the necessary supports and plan for recovery for aviation in Ireland before the hard-won gains of the last decade are wiped out forever. – Yours, etc,

Capt JOE MAY,

Vice- President – Finance,

Irish Air Line Pilots’

Association,

Santry,

Dublin 17.