Any potential sale of Aer Lingus must take into consideration the impact on Galway and the economy of the entire western region.
This is the view of Labour’s Galway West TD Derek Nolan who said it would “not be wise for the Government to sell its 25.1 per cent share in the airline”.
Aer Lingus currently operates flights from Shannon to London Heathrow and from Knock Airport to London Gatwick. Dep Nolan said such flights are “vitally important to tourism” in the west and have a “knock-on effect” on the local economy “which is still in recovery mode”.
Dep Nolan said these flights need to be protected in the event of a sale.
“Any discussions around the issue must seriously consider the viability of both airports in the context of such a sale,” he said. “Companies looking to invest in the region will primarily consider the accessibility of airports and the quality of its transports links. When the M18 is finished, Shannon Airport will only be 40 minutes from Galway.”