The Government has been advised to lift the 14-day quarantine for people arriving into Ireland by next Wednesday.
The Aviation Recovery Taskforce was set up two weeks ago to make recommendations on how to help the Irish aviation sector to recover.
It says Ireland is now significantly behind other European Union member states when it comes to restoring air travel.
In an interim report to Transport Minister Shane Ross, the Taskford have made a number of recommendations.
- Begin to lift international travel restrictions by 1 July
- Lift the quarantine requirement on incoming airline passengers by 1 July
- To support the first two measures, finalise and implement in full a national Code of Practice for Safe Air Travel which applies the aviation health and safety protocols developed by the European Centre for Disease Control and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA)
- In order to mitigate large scale redundancies and job losses confirm continuation of existing financial support measures, including in particular the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme to support employment where possible.
The full report can be great here. A final report is due in the coming weeks.
On receiving the report, Mr Ross said he commended the members for “for the sense of urgency they have brought to the challenge of identifying proposals to support the recovery of a critical sector of our economy”.
He added: “I note there will be a Final Report in the coming weeks, and I look forward to receiving that, which I understand will contain further proposals focused on what needs to be done over the next number of years.”
“Regarding the Interim Report, it very succinctly captures the huge importance of the sector to the Irish economy, and it very clearly sets out the case for taking steps to be taken to begin opening up to international travel sooner rather than later.
“There are of course important public health issues to be considered, which the Report acknowledges, and I will give the matters my priority attention and ensure that they are considered as a matter of urgency by the Government.”
Aer Lingus urged the Government to immediately implement the taskforce recommendations.
Sean Doyle, chief executive of Aer Lingus, said the Covid-19 crisis is having a “catastrophic effect” on the aviation industry.
He added: “Ireland’s failure to take steps that other European Member States have already taken has exacerbated the crisis in Irish aviation.
“This is having a negative impact upon jobs within the industry and upon the industry’s ability to recover.
“As an island economy with a huge reliance on connectivity and mobility, Ireland needs the urgent recommencement of operations in aviation.”
Ryanair chief executive Eddie Wilson called on the Government to implement its taskforce recommendations “to save what’s left of the summer season and start to recover lost airline traffic”.
Mr Wilson said: “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.”
Earlier today, Dalton Philips - chief executive of the Dublin Airport Authority - warned that air travel will be a safe, but stressful experience, for the near future.
It is going to take two to three years for numbers travelling to return to pre-Covid levels, he told RTÉ radio’s Today with Sarah McInerney show.
Passenger numbers at present are down 98% and will be 30% to 40% lower next year than in 2019.
Mr Philips said he expected passenger numbers to increase to 4,000 per day in the next week, normally they would be over 100,000 per day.