A solution must be found to the current impasse – BREEN.

November 5th, 2009 - Pat Breen

Fine Gael’s Deputy Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Clare T.D. Pat Breen has today called on Ryanair to return to the table and sit down with the Shannon Airport Authority and hold meaningful discussions in an effort to secure a new agreement with the Airport Authority. “A Solution must be found to the current impasse and negotiating on the airwaves is not the way forward.”

“The arrival of Ryanair to Shannon Airport in 2005 was a big boost to the growth of passenger traffic through the Airport and it was a also big boost for the Tourism Sector with a huge influx in inward tourism into this Region. My fear always was though that it was unwise for the Airport to be so dependant on one airline and that Shannon Airport should not place all its eggs in one basket. We have already witnessed several other Airlines exiting the Irish market because of Ryanair’s dominance in the market place and Michael O’Leary admitted himself at a Transport Committee Meeting that he has a monopoly on short haul routes at Shannon.”

“This dominance now leaves the Shannon Airport Authority between a rock and a hard stool. The entire Airline Industry is in free fall and passenger traffic has fallen substantially throughout the world. However, the Airport has to maintain its infrastructure and somebody has to pay to keep the lights on. A compromise must be found which would satisfy both parties.”

“Ryanair must be realistic, the Shannon Airport Authority has no control whatsoever over the imposition of the €10 Air Travel Tax. This is the responsibility of this Government who introduced this tax at a time when every other European Country has abandoned similar taxes. I would appeal again to the Minister for Finance to introduce an amendment to the Finance Bill in the forthcoming budget and at least defer the tax for two years to give the Aviation Sector some breathing space.”

“I would remind Michael O’Leary of what he said when he appeared before the Dail’s Transport Committee last December when he was putting the case for the Airlines take over bid of Aer Lingus “People should stop questioning Ryanair’s commitment to this country or regional airports in the country because no one can question it.” It is now up to Michael O’Leary and I would urge him to return to the table, a solution must be found to the current impasse and negotiating on the airwaves is not the way forward.”
“Shannon Airport has been good for Ryanair, they have built up a good working relationship together and they can have a bright future together but only if realistic solutions can be negotiated.”