A web of vested interests and a tissue of lies are behind the move by four US congressmen who have introduced legislation aimed at scuttling the first transatlantic flights from Cork Airport.
That is the view of Irish aviation, political, and business leaders, who described as “false and misleading” a blocking manoeuvre akin to the most lawless kind of American football. Not mincing his words, Mayor of Cork County John Paul O’Shea condemned this bid to block Cork-Boston flights planned by Norwegian Air International. Describing parts of the proposed bill and references to Irish labour laws as “inaccurate and insulting”, he cites a US Department of Transport ruling that there is no legal impediment to the granting of a “foreign carrier permit”.
The congressmen should immediately withdraw this obviously flawed attempt to undermine existing legislation by introducing a bill which, on the face of it, appears to have no legal validity whatsoever. That they have made such a move comes as no surprise. It is the product of American-style lobbying by US airlines and other businesses with a vested interest in blocking transatlantic flights from Cork to Boston and then, hopefully, cities including New York.
There is an onus on our Government, already under pressure from Munster interests, to relentlessly support this project. Having lobbied US president Barack Obama, if Taoiseach Enda Kenny has any influence left in Washington, he should use it to push this laudable venture over the line.
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