Independent Galway TDs Noel Grealish and Michael Fitzmaurice are calling for "urgent State supports" for Shannon Airport after the Shannon Group updated them on how Shannon Airport have been “decimated” by the Covid pandemic.
Dep Grealish (Galway West ) and Dep Fitzmaurice (Roscommon-Galway ), along with Richard O’Donoghue (Limerick ) and Michael McNamara (Clare ), who met with Mary Considine (CEO, Shannon Group ) and Ray O'Driscoll (Chief Operating Officer, Shannon Group ) to hear of the situation.
The TDs were informed that Shannon Airport anticipates 350,000 passengers in 2020, down from 1.8 million passengers in 2019, and that the Shannon Group is facing weekly revenue losses of €1.3 million and is expecting annual revenue for 2020 to be down by 80m per cent.
Calls for meeting with An Taoiseach
As a result, the TDs are calling for An Taoiseach, Micheál Martin, the Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan, and airline representatives to meet with the Shannon Group.
The TDs also want to see Ireland sign up to the EU-wide traffic light system, which will see regions being marked green, orange, or red depending on their rate of Covid-19 cases; that testing protocol be agreed at all Irish airports to satisfy the requirements of destination airports; and that national aviation policy be amended in line with EU law to enable State-owned airports, such as Shannon, access State funding for capital expenditure projects.
"There is a general acceptance internationally that the aviation sector will not return to 2019 levels of business until 2024 at the earliest," Said the TDs in a statement issued after the meeting, "but even this target is dependent on State support being made available to airports like Shannon. Changes to national aviation policy, which would ensure carriers do not fly exclusively into Dublin, must be matched with the necessary funding.”