‘Dire consequences’ for Ireland

IRISH exporters have told their government they face dire consequences if Aer Lingus airfreight services to the US are scrapped.
John Whelan, chief executive of the Irish Exporters Association (IEA), says if the sale goes ahead the national carrier would be in danger of a takeover, which the IEA believes would lead to the airfreight link being cut.
He says: “The Aer Lingus flights to the US carry approximately 52 per cent of the value of our exports and 43 per cent of all imports from the US. 
“At risk is the pharmaceutical and medical technology that is exported by airfreight to the USA and the high tech imports required for a wide range of manufacturing companies in Ireland. 
“The daily airfreight connection to the US has been at the heart of Irish export growth for several decades, and let us not forget this is our largest export market as well as our main source of foreign direct investment. 
“The IEA strongly recommend the government not to dispose of its remaining shareholding in Aer Lingus.
"A sale would leave the government without any influence to ensure the critical air cargo service link to the US in particular, is retained.”
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