Dublin City Council must communicate concerns regarding the sale of the government share of Aer Lingus to Minister without delay
Issued : Monday 2 February, 2015
Labour Councillor for the Beaumont/Donaghmede area, Alison Gilliland, expressed concern regarding the potential impact on tourism and economic activity and development across the city if connectivity in and out of Dublin airport, particularly between to and from Heathrow airport is reduced or lost in a possible sale of the state’s share of Aer Lingus. In a motion to Dublin City Council this evening, Cllr. Gilliland calls on Dublin City Council to communicate these concerns to Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Pascal Donohoe TD without delay.
Cllr. Gilliland highlighted the significance of the almost hourly Aer Lingus flights between Dublin and London Heathrow airports allowing passengers flexible all-day connectivity between the two cities for both tourism or business - London Heathrow is a major global traffic hub with almost 1,200 flights daily serving almost 200 destinations across more than 80 countries. Our Aer Lingus connectivity with London Heathrow allows Ireland to take advantage of these global routes when accessing and developing current and emerging tourist and economic markets.
The current government share allows the state a voice and influence in the decision making process not only regarding the Heathrow slots but also the strategic development of routes into the future, routes that could potentially bring economic opportunities to the city and regions.
CSO figures indicate that in the first 10 months of last year almost 1.5m people travelled between the two airports. This no doubt amounts to the generation of significant direct and indirect economic activity particularly within the city of Dublin. This key activity may be at risk if the sale goes ahead. Also at risk are almost 1,200 jobs within Aer Lingus particularly of ground staff and catering personnel. In previous mergers and takeovers IAG has not only rationalised staffing levels but has also outsourced particular roles and there is no guarantee that this would not happen with Aer Lingus. Cllr Gilliland indicated that such job losses would have detrimental direct and indirect effect on local communities.
Motion to Dublin City Council
That Dublin City Council communicates without delay, its concerns regarding the sale of the government share of Aer Lingus to IAG with the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Pascal Donohoe TD. In particular,
• the potential impact on tourism in Dublin City if connectivity in and out of Dublin airport, particularly between to and from Heathrow airport and to and from the USA, is reduced or lost
• the potential impact on economic activity and development in Dublin City if connectivity in and out of Dublin airport is reduced and if jobs currently carried out by Aer Lingus are lost.
• the potential impact on the decision making process, particularly relating to the future strategic direction of the airline, if the state relinquishes its voice and influence in the airline,
And that a meeting be sought at the earliest possible convenience between the Dublin City Council, including representatives from the Economic Development and Enterprise SPC, and the Minister to impress the above concerns him in person.