28/10/2020 Tuesday 27th October 2020: Mary Considine, CEO, Shannon Group, has called for an urgent financial lifeline for Shannon Airport and a support package for the aviation sector in the National Economic Plan to be announced next month. “Extremely disappointing” is how Ms. Considine described the announcement by Ryanair to temporarily halt all of its flights from Shannon and Cork from November 14th to December 12th as a result of a collapse in forward bookings in light of COVID-19 Level 5 restrictions. This latest development comes less than two weeks after the airline announced it would temporarily close its Cork and Shannon hubs for winter. “We are extremely disappointed with the news; it is a further illustration of the devastating impact of the pandemic on the aviation sector. This latest development effectively means we will have no scheduled services at Shannon for a month. “As an Island nation, aviation is a crucial part of our economy and therefore our economic recovery. The industry is in a crisis not witnessed in our lifetime. If it is to revive and recover, the aviation sector needs a financial lifeline to resuscitate it. The National Economic Plan is due to be published next month and we would hope that it will provide the vital financial support for this ailing sector. “In the absence of a vaccine, the new European Traffic Light system, presents a glimmer of hope, supported by common approach to testing. Once testing protocols are agreed we will be ready to roll out testing at the airport and believe it will be an important element in restoring public confidence to travel again.” says Ms. Considine Shannon Airport will remain open to service cargo, general aviation, transit business and to facilitate hangar movements.