An internal memo seen by Ryanair pilots and crew has warned of possible base closures at Cork and Shannon in the winter season should the Irish government fail to adopt the EU’s ‘traffic light system’ for air travel from October.
Brussels has attempted to introduce a single aviation policy across all member states.
The so called ‘traffic light’ system advises passengers where there are low transmission rates of Covid-19, medium rates where caution should be exercised and where exceptionally high rates of the disease are found and where travel may not be advisable.
Ryanair is unhappy that the government have postponed a decision on adopting the EU system until October 13 and stress that “If there is no change, we regrettably expect the base closures at Cork and Shannon to proceed”. Further, the memo slams the government’s “disjointed and mismanaged” approach that puts the jobs of its pilots and air crew in both bases at risk.
Those involved in the tourism industry in Cork, Limerick and Clare have expressed concern at the potential base losses while rival airline Aer Lingus has already warned that it may need to review its regional operations.
Despite the plea from Brussels and from those within the aviation sector, EU countries have been adopting their own policies for air travel with some insisting on pre-travel coronavirus tests and others having mandatory self-isolation periods for arrivals.
Dublin, Cork and Shannon have seen a 95% fall in passenger numbers since March and many aviation officials believe last year’s level of operations may not return until 2024.
According to Airports Council International there were fewer passengers travelling through Dublin Airport in June than there were in either Adana or Tenerife, with traffic at point down by 97.2%.
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