McGrath Concerned After Ryanair Pulls Out Of NI

McGrath says Ryanair withdrawal further blow to North's travel sector.

McGrath says Ryanair withdrawal further blow to North’s travel sector.

South Down MLA Colin McGrath is very concerned for the future of the airline industry in the North following Ryanair’s withdrawal of its services.

South Down MLA Colin McGrath (SDLP) has said that the decision by Ryanair to pull out of the North will be a further blow to a travel industry which is on its knees.

The SDLP Chair of the Executive Office Committee said: “I have been contacted by travel sector representatives who are concerned that the Executive is not listening to their concerns or responding adequately to the potential collapse of the industry here.

“The original financial scheme for the sector was only developed after months of lobbying and when it was opened there was only seven days to apply. It then took the best part of four months to get the small payments out to the sector which was completely unacceptable.

“Now the news that one of the biggest airlines serving the North is to withdraw all of its service will cause further pressure. While many of the bookings to low-cost airlines are made directly to the airline, it is the knock-on effect of cruise bookings, hotel reservations and other holiday add-ons that are secured through the travel agent that will be in jeopardy.

“I am calling on the First Ministers to urgently meet with a cross-industry group to hear the concerns of the sector.

“Also, the Executive needs to detail what it can do. With coronavirus on one side, lack of Executive support on another and this all compounded by route reduction from airlines our travel industry is in desperation and needs help,” said Colin MCGrath.