Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Transport, Tourism & Sport has requested the Chairman of the Oireachtas Transport & Communications Committee to invite Aer Lingus Chairman Colm Barrington and its CEO Christoph Mueller to appear before the committee. Deputy Dooley said they should appear before the committee to answer the questions that remain outstanding surrounding connectivity following the IAG presentation earlier this week.
Deputy Dooley commented, “I have requested the chairman of the Oireachtas Transport & Communications Committee to invite Mr Barrington and the Aer Lingus CEO Christoph Mueller to appear before the committee to answer outstanding questions about the proposed takeover bid. They must outline the financial position of Aer Lingus, its future plans and in particular set out why they think the IAG takeover bid is in the best interests of the company at this time.
“Both Mr Barrington and Mr Mueller need to address the serious concerns that have been raised by those involved in the tourism sector who recognise the importance of our connectivity to the United States and Heathrow. The current links are also of fundamental importance for the pharmaceutical industry in the Cork region and for the engineering and financial services sector in the west of Ireland.
“The significant concerns that have been raised regarding the potential downside risks of the proposed takeover bid remain outstanding. The proposal to retain the Heathrow slots as outlined by Willie Walsh earlier this week offers no long term security. It is also worrying that no commitments have been made towards retaining connectivity between Ireland and the United States.
“I call on Mr Barrington and his CEO Mr Mueller to appear before the Oireachtas Transport & Communications Committee. They need to come before the committee to tell us why they believe the government should dispose of its shareholding and to address the concerns surrounding Ireland’s connectivity with both Heathrow and the United States.