Failure to axe Travel Tax will drive Airlines out of Ireland – Breen

December 9th, 2009 - Pat Breen

Reacting to the news that the €10 Air Travel Tax is not being abolished, Fine Gael’s Deputy Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Clare T.D. Pat Breen speaking in Dail Eireann during the debate on Budget 2010 said that “there is not much point in introducing a travel scheme for overseas visitors using Iarnrod Eireann if airlines are not flying to Ireland”.

“Airlines are parking up aeroplanes and reducing schedules all over the world. Ryanair and Aer Lingus are seeking to reduce the number of flights to and from the Country and the two companies do not often issue joint statements, as they have done in urging the Government to abolish the travel tax.”

“While increasing the budget for tourism to support a marketing drive aimed at increasing tourism by 3% is fine, it is pointless, if airlines decide to move their services elsewhere.”

“The reality is that passenger numbers have plummeted and inward tourism on a downward spiral and I have no doubt that the year-end passenger numbers for Shannon Airport which will be published in January will reflect this.”

“Expecting the number of inward tourists availing of travel vouchers, while welcome, to save the Irish Tourism Industry, shows how out of touch this Government has become with was is happening on the ground.”.