The Irish Exporters Association has stressed Aer Lingus’ “strategic importance to Ireland’s export industry. Trade to the US accounts for 50 percent of Ireland’s exports and 43 percent of imports.
John Whelan, the head of the Irish Exporters Association, believes that Government had not given enough consideration to how vital Aer Lingus’ cargo facility was to high tech and life sciences exporters.
He warned that if Ryanair were to take over the Irish airline they could drop the air cargo facility as the budget Michael O’Leary run airline does not currently deal with cargo.
In a statement he said “At risk is the €18 billion of pharmaceutical and medical technology that is exported by airfreight to the US and €4.5 billion of high-tech imports required for a wide range of manufacturing companies in Ireland.
“The daily airfreight connection to the US has been at the heart of Irish export growth for several decades. Let us not forget this is our largest export market as well as our main source of foreign direct investment,” he said. “The daily airfreight link is a strategic trade corridor for Ireland and must be treated as such.”
The Irish Exporters Association believes the Competition Authority should look at the potential lack of competition on many routes in and out of Ireland.