Aer Lingus has welcomed the government’s planned lifting of travel restrictions from 19 July as the “first step on the long road to rebuilding aviation in Ireland.”
In a statement, the airline said “the future lifting of travel restrictions will give the opportunity for people to see friends and families and enjoy a much needed holiday over the latter weeks of the summer.
For a considerable period of time the Irish aviation sector has been seeking a data-driven, risk-based Irish roadmap to reopen international travel and to enable the restoration of connectivity.
Aer Lingus also welcomed as “sensible” the government’s decision to remove the U.S. from the mandatory hotel quarantine list, which happened on Saturday, 28 May along with the removal of France, Luxembourg and Belgium, the last EU countries on the list.
“It is now critical that there is a timely and flawless technical implementation by Ireland of the EU Digital COVID Certificate,” the statement continued.
Not All Good News
However, Aer Lingus warned that flying schedules would be “a fraction of normal levels for some time to come” and that the lifting of the restrictions “will not facilitate a significant level of travel to and from Ireland during the critical summer months of 2021.”
The airline also expressed disappointment that the reopening of the Common Travel Area has been delayed and that EU-approved rapid antigen testing has not been agreed upon as a standard of pre-departure testing.
It also said that it would also undergo a significant cash burn over the coming months, and that the “cumulative consequences of the crisis over the last 15 months leaves Aer Lingus facing significant restructuring to rebuild its network and financial strength.”