Fianna Fáil Transport Spokesperson Timmy Dooley has said he is “deeply concerned” about reports that the Aer Lingus board is to consider a proposal to transfer its maintenance operations out of Shannon Airport to Dublin, which could impact on up to 70 jobs.
Deputy Dooley said: “There will be huge concern in the region about this news. Aer Lingus continues to play a huge role in the economy in the Midwest and a downgrading of operations at Shannon Airport will have a detrimental impact on jobs.
“A major transfer of maintenance operations from Shannon to Dublin by Aer Lingus should not go ahead and I am calling on the Government to use its influence at the airline and at board level to ensure this does not proceed.
“Less than four weeks ago the Minister for Transport said the most likely future model for Shannon was ‘the development of an international aviation base and services centre in the region based around Shannon Airport and the lands around Shannon with a view to attracting new industry, cargo is the obvious one but not just that, and also industries that don’t currently exist in Europe, like aircraft refitting and aircraft recycling in addition to the usual MRO (Maintenance Repair and Operations) and other industries.’ – Minister Leo Varadkar, 03 April 2012
“I will be seeking to raise this issue with Minister Varadkar in the Dáil this week and the wider issue of the Government’s approach to Shannon Airport. The Minister has missed his own deadlines already in bringing forward a strategy for the airport and has bizarrely said that Knock is likely to overtake Shannon in terms of passenger numbers in the years ahead when the figures don’t stack up.
“The proposal to transfer Aer Lingus maintenance from Shannon goes against the Government’s own strategy, or what should be their strategy, to grow the airport and secure its future for the region,” concluded Deputy Dooley.