Ryanair has warned that it could permanently reduce some services locally and base more of its operations outside the State if action isn’t taken to protect the aviation sector.
The Irish carrier, which recently closed its bases in Cork and Shannon until April due to the Covid-19 crisis, has called on the Government to do more to ensure the overall survival of air travel in Ireland.
Speaking to The Irish Times, Eddie Wilson, chief executive of Ryanair DAC, the airline group’s biggest subsidiary, said the Government needs to look beyond day-to-day Covid-19 figures to consider not just what is happening now but also the longer-term implications arising from the crisis.
The airline has previously threatened withdrawal of services due to a failure to act on recommendations from the aviation recovery taskforce, which was convened earlier this year. It has also been frustrated at the State’s delayed adoption of the EU traffic light system for international travel and by its recommendation that Irish people don’t travel home for Christmas.
Ryanair and other carriers that operate locally, such as Aer Lingus, have been pressing the Government to increase supports during the pandemic and to enable them to bounce back in a post-Covid-19 world.
“We’re taken for granted with an assumption that we are just going to show up every day even as we’re coming out of the worst aviation crisis ever seen. The Government needs to think about how it can retain the sector and that is by making a good business case for its survival,” he said.