Fianna Fáil TD for Limerick Niall Collins has called on Aer Lingus to outline its restructuring plan for Shannon amid fears that jobs at the airport could be lost for good.
Deputy Collins has received correspondence from workers who have been told that they are being let go from the end of June until the end of August.
He wants a guarantee from the company and the government that the semi-State airline is not pulling out of Shannon indefinitely.
“I received a very worrying email this afternoon stating that some Aer Lingus staff at Shannon airport have been contacted to say that they are being let go from 21st June until at least 29th August. They have been advised to apply for the COVID-19 pandemic unemployment payment or jobseekers’ allowance. This has come as a shock to workers and they are understandably worried about their future”, said Deputy Collins.
“I understand that the COVID-19 pandemic is having disastrous consequences for the airline industry, however I am frustrated that it appears as if Shannon airport is the sole target for job losses. This is deeply unfair. For too long Shannon has been treated as the poor relation of Dublin and Cork airports, despite being a major transatlantic hub.
“There is a real fear that if Aer Lingus ceases operations out of Shannon for two months, the services and routes may never return. That is simply not an option.
“I will be writing to the CEO of Aer Lingus and to the Transport Minister Shane Ross seeking clarification on the current situation. The government has a role to play here – and it must engage with our national carrier to ensure that services and staff are protected.
“Shannon airport is vital piece of State infrastructure and it needs more investment, not less. I will be pursuing this issue with the Minister and Sean Doyle from Aer Lingus over the coming days”.