Some international air travel will return in the coming weeks as Ireland looks to open “air bridges” with countries who have suppressed Covid-19.
Countries such as Portugal will become holiday destinations for Donegal people looking for a break and a taste of sunshine.
Business Minister Heather Humphreys gave beleaguered airlines here a glimmer of hope.
It would see Irish holidaymakers permitted to travel to selected countries where safety agreements have been agreed with both governments.
Humphreys said that although people shouldn’t rush to book holidays just yet, there was hope that some trips abroad could still take place this year.
The Fine Gael TD told Morning Ireland: “Firstly I just want to acknowledge how difficult it is at the moment for companies like Aer Lingus and indeed all airlines and the staff who are affected by cuts.
“We are behind other countries in terms of the stage we’re at with the virus, and that’s why there’s differences between us, and other EU countries.
“That said, the Taoiseach confirmed . . . that as the world returns to a new normal, we’re planning to reintroduce international air travel through air bridges.
“This would mean arranging deals with countries that have flattened the curve to a similar level as we have.
“So we would be looking at lifting travel restrictions, if people are flying to and from countries where the virus has been successfully suppressed.
“This is weeks away and it’s far too early for anyone to book holidays yet, but I want to be clear that we have plans in place, and we will activate them as soon as it is safe to do so.”
Her message came on the same day Leo Varadkar announced it was safe for Ireland to begin phase two of lockdown restrictions on Monday, but he said no date is in mind for air travel to resume.
He also said he would encourage people not to go booking flights.Tags: