Ireland’s government is planning to allocate a total of €90 million in aid to the country’s airports in order to help them recover from the damages caused by the Coronavirus.
Yet, the Irish government still needs the European Union approval to take such a step, while the Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Hilderade Naughton, has confirmed that the country’s government had started seeking the approval of the European Commission for the aid, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
Naughton has stressed that, earlier this year, the EU approved the government’s proposal to provide a total of €20 million in order to help the airlines get out of the current crisis provoked by the Coronavirus.
Through such an agreement, the Dublin Airport received €17.7 million, while Knock received €1.9 million, Cork €1.4 million, Shannon €920,000, Kerry €913,665 and Donegal €142,342.
According to Minister Naughton, extra financial help would permit the airport to “do what they do best” and reach an agreement with airlines in order to restore key routes, especially those linking the Irish territory with North America.
“We have started to engage with the European Commission to expand that to €90 million,” Naughton pointed out.
In this regard, Dalton Philips, CEO at Dublin Airport Authority has stressed that business at Dublin and Cork Airports has been highly affected by the fall in the passenger numbers over the past two years.
“Together we have a long journey to travel as we seek to reconnect Ireland to the rest of the world and fulfil our role as an economic enabler for the Irish economy in terms of trade, tourism and social connectivity. We obviously welcome the measures announced in today’s budget and look forward to rebuilding our long and short haul networks out of Dublin and Cork Airports on the strength of these supports,” Philips has revealed.
On July 19, Ireland opened its doors to travellers from European Union Member States, as well as those from the United Kingdom and the United States.
In addition, from mid-July, the country also permitted the entry for travellers fully vaccinated against the Coronavirus, as the country launched the EU’s COVID-19 passport created to facilitate the travel process for fully vaccinated travellers from EU countries.
However, according to the figure provided by the World Health Organization, Ireland has registered a total of 404,514 COVID-19 infection cases and 5,280 deaths.
The same source shows that a total of 1,357 people have tested positive for the virus in Ireland in the last 24 hours.
Still, despite these figures, authorities in Ireland are attempting to find new effective ways in order to deal with the current COVID-19 situation and help its industries, especially the travel and tourism industry, recover from the COVID-19 situation.
The Irish government plans to allocate €36 million in aid to regional airports next year, which will be used for specific projects such as sustainability projects.
A total of €90 million will be allocated for air travel as part of €286 million made available from the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath, as financial help to get out of the current COVID-19 crisis.