26 Sept 2022

Ireland West Airport chairman calls for urgent action by Government to address 90% collapse in passenger traffic

Ireland West Airport appoints Arthur French as Chairman

The impact of COVID-19 on regional Ireland is continuing to have a devastating effect on Ireland West Airport as passenger numbers collapse by 90% over the summer period due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the stringent travel restrictions currently in place.

The airport welcomes today’s statement from the regional chambers and business communities of Galway, Mayo and Sligo who have united for the first time, to call with one voice for Government to respond to the critical financial challenges currently facing the airport.

Commenting on the continued devastating impact on the airport, Arthur French, Chairman, Ireland West Airport said "We welcome todays statement from the regional chambers and business communities across the west and now call on Government, in advance of next month’s budget, to provide urgent support through an expanded regional airports programme for the airport to address the enormous financial losses resulting from the devastating collapse in passenger traffic as a result of COVID-19.

"The restrictive green list and 14-day quarantine restrictions are prohibitive for travel and airlines cannot continue to sustain routes at the current passenger volumes. The airport to date has implemented significant cost saving measures and reduced its workforce by up to 50% through a process of layoffs and redundancies, compared to 2019 staffing levels, with remaining staff on reduced hours to ensure we can continue to operate through this period and reduce our losses during this pandemic. This however is not sustainable going forward at the current traffic levels.

"We acknowledge the continued support of the Department of Transport and Ministers Eamon Ryan and Hildegarde Naughton but now need urgent Government intervention, through an enhanced Regional Airport’s funding programme, as we face into a critical winter period."

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