Sunday 17 November 2019

Fianna Fail seeks to suspend Dail debate and vote on sale of the State’s share in Aer Lingus

Timmy Dooley
Timmy Dooley
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

Fianna Fail is seeking to suspend tomorrow’s debate and vote on the controversial sale of the State’s share in Aer Lingus.

The decision follows the emergence of an internal report commissioned by Aer Lingus, which outlined a number of staff reductions.

The report by consultancy firm Nyras suggested 20pc cuts in ground handling jobs, 40pc for catering, and 25pc on maintenance.

It also included a proposal to outsource part of the company’s aircraft maintenance to Eastern Europe.

Fianna Fail’s transport spokesman Timmy Dooley said the Government’s approach to the sale has been “appalling”.

Read more: Aer Lingus has 'secret job cuts' plan - Dail is told

“Despite promises to bring all relevant information before the Transport Committee and assurances that there would be a proper well informed debate before any decision to sell, the Government is now seeking to rush through a vote without even its own backbenchers being in possession of the full facts,” he said.

“We know this to be the case because Fianna Fáil has come into possession of a report prepared by the Nyras consultancy for Aer Lingus, which compares the airline’s cost base to a range of low cost airlines and sets out cost reduction strategies that would directly impact jobs at the airline and speaks directly to the issue of the value of the airline.

Read more: Tanaiste Joan Burton denies government tried to 'ram' Aer Lingus deal through Dail

“However, the Government itself claims to be entirely unaware of the report – a very serious situation in itself, given the Government’s status as a 25% shareholder.

 “If there is a shred of good faith on the Government benches, there will be no vote on the future of Aer Lingus unless and until TDs get to examine all the relevant paperwork relating to this deal and to the airline’s plans, including the Nyras Report.

“Tomorrow, Fianna Fáil will table a Private Notice Question to suspend the debate until this examination takes place.  We will be calling on TDs from all parties who claim to have an interest in the airline’s future, to support this motion,” he added.

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