The government is being advised to lift the 14-day quarantine for incoming passengers by July 1.
The Taskforce for Aviation Recovery was appointed by the Minister for Transport Shane Ross and made up of air industry and Government officials. Its Interim Draft Report to the Minister said Ireland is significantly behind other EU countries in lifting travel restrictions.
In particular, it focuses on the two-week quarantine period for passengers who fly into Ireland. "A 14-day quarantine period makes non-essential and discretionary travel challenging, and inhibits business related travel, which is critical for the Irish economy," the task force notes.
Other recommendations by the task force include the implementation in full of a national Code of Practice for Safe Air Travel and the continuation of existing financial support measures, including the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme.
Daa, the company which operates Dublin and Cork airports, welcomed the report's publication saying aviation will play a major role in helping the Irish economy to begin to recover from the financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ryanair which has spoken out repeatedly against travel quarantine rules also welcomed the report's recommendations. The airline's CEO, Eddie Wilson called on the Government to implement its own taskforce recommendations in order to "save what’s left of the summer season and start to recover lost airline traffic." "A great number of the 140,000 Irish jobs which rely on aviation may be lost forever if these measures are not adopted without delay," he said.
Separately, around 25 pilots protested outside the offices of CityJet yesterday accusing the airline of 'offshoring' jobs to Scandinavia. Ian McDonnell of trade union IALPA, a branch of Fórsa, said CityJet intends to exit the examinership process flying 15 aircraft for airline SAS without Irish-based pilots flying the aircraft.
However, CityJet's Executive Chairman Pat Byrne said pilots' union wanted them to fly their pilots out of Dublin to Scandinavia to operate flights rather than using local pilots which he said was simply "not viable".