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Transport | Extending and improving the air transport service for business people and their employees

To ask the Minister for Transport the extent to which it is expected to extend and improve the air transport service throughout all regions in such a way as to make it possible for business people and their employees to avail of an efficient and reliable service; and if he will make a statement on the matter.


Ireland is one of the most connected countries in the European Union, with Dublin Airport currently serving approximately 146 destinations with 43 airline partners with flights to Europe, North America, the Middle East, and Africa.

From a regional airport perspective, the summer 2023 season will provide a strong offering in comparison to previous seasons as the sector continues its recovery. While multiple new routes have been announced for leisure travel, business related connectivity is equally well served.

In addition to multiple holiday destinations, Cork, Shannon, and Ireland West (Knock) Airports will feature regular connectivity with London Heathrow, a major business hub, with the possibility of further onwards connections with any number of major global destinations. Shannon Airport will also offer direct transatlantic services, particularly connections to New York, another major business hub which also can provide additional options for onwards travel both internally in the United States and internationally.

Kerry Airport has regular services to London and, along with Donegal Airport, regular services to Dublin Airport which in turn provides the opportunity for onwards connectivity to destinations in Europe, the Middle East, transatlantic, and further afield again as required through multiple hub locations.

While exchequer support is provided to Ireland’s regional airports through a Regional Airports Programme 2021 – 2025, the funding is predominantly targeted at safety and security related projects and activities, funding also supports sustainability objectives. The Programme provides for a mid-term review to be completed in 2023.  This review will consider how the Programme is currently delivering on its objectives, primarily in the context of supporting balanced regional development. It will also explore how international connectivity and services, to and from the regions can be maintained and enhanced. It should be noted however that the operation of any scheduled air service is a commercial decision for airlines, in consultation with airports and other market actors, based on the commercial viability of the route in question and other operational factors.

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