Aer Lingus wants quarantine period axed to resume flights in July

Aer Lingus chief executive Sean Doyle has called on the Government to remove the quarantine restrictions on people travelling into the country by the end of June so that the airline can restore some of its short-haul services in July and August to help “reboot” Irish tourism.

“There is a decent degree of demand that we would see coming through if there was clarity around quarantine and travel policies,” Mr Doyle told The Irish Times.

“We need to reboot the economy, tourism is very important, connectivity is very important . . . we see other countries doing it effectively like Spain and Portugal and we see no reason why Ireland shouldn’t become part of that framework and process.”

Mr Doyle said Aer Lingus would initially look to provide services to cities in Germany and the Netherlands and to sun spots in Portugal and Spain, if Irish quarantine rules are removed and if the advisory on non-essential travel was lifted.

“We have a number of European services that we would look to operate in July and August,” he said. “The policies around travel advisories and quarantine are pretty important to us finalising what the travel programme might look like. It won’t be as big obviously as in previous seasons but there is a pathway to having a summer season for economies where tourism is critical, and I would argue that Ireland is one of those economies.”

Aer Lingus is flying just 5 per cent of its normal schedule, with “skeleton” services to the UK, and transatlantic flights to New York, Boston and Chicago. It is operating out of Dublin, Cork and Belfast but has ceased operations in Shannon.

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