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18.12.2012

 

Tuesday 18th December 2012
 

HOTELIERS URGE GOVERNMENT TO SAFEGUARD AER LINGUS’ HEATHROW LANDING SLOTS

Ryanair Proposal Would Have Detrimental Implications for Ireland’s Tourism Industry

The Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) today expressed its alarm at a proposal by Ryanair that could see 20 of Aer Lingus’ landing slots at Heathrow being sold to British Airways. Michael Vaughan, President of the IHF called on the Government to do everything in its power to ensure the long-term retention of the slots for routes between Irish airports and Heathrow. He expressed particular concern at the prospect of British Airways being allowed to re-allocate the slots for other routes after a period of three years.

Mr Vaughan stated: “One thing is clear. The Heathrow slots are of critical strategic importance to the country and the longterm prospects of our national tourism product. I’d be very worried about their future under Ryanair’s proposal which would have serious long-term implications for services into Dublin, Shannon and Cork airports.”

“If the slots are note secured, it’s likely they will eventually be sold on or leased to international operators of long haul routes. This would leave Ireland without any connections to the World’s largest traffic hub into Europe – which would be detrimental for Irish tourism,” states Mr Vaughan. “It’s imperative that the Government intervene to safeguard this vital national asset before it’s too late.”

ENDS

FOR INFORMATION CONTACT:
Eoin Quinn/Siobhan Molloy                         Tel: 01 6760168
Weber Shandwick                                          Mob: 087 233 2191/086 817 5066

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