The Irish Travel Agents Association (ITAA) is calling on the government to extend income support for the travel industry into 2022 following the collapse of Stobart Air.
Stobart Air terminated its franchise with Aer Lingus on Friday night, causing job losses and the sudden cancellation of flights from regional airports, including Donegal Airport.
As efforts continue to restore connectivity to all affected airports, travel agents say the loss of jobs is a severe blow for what has already been a very difficult year for those working in the travel industry, and is indicative of the damage caused by COVID-19 on the Irish travel sector.
The ITAA are advising holidaymakers who have flights booked with Stobart Air and have concerns to contact their local travel agent for advice and assistance with refunds and rebooking.
Pat Dawson, CEO of the ITAA said, “We were disappointed to hear that Stobart Air ceased trading as this is a further blow to our industry during these strange and difficult times. This development further highlights the difficulties the travel industry has been experiencing over the last year, demonstrating the need for Government support for the Irish travel industry in order to retain jobs and repair some of the damage caused by the pandemic. The Irish Travel Agents Association is calling on the Government to extend income support for the travel industry into 2022 when the public are back travelling and holidaying again.”
He continued: “Undoubtedly, the sudden cancellation of flights is causing disturbance to travellers booked with Stobart Air and we are advising any affected Irish holidaymakers to get in touch with their travel agent, who can assist with arrangements for alternative travel. When faced with travel disruption, booking with a fully bonded and licensed ITAA member will ensure that the holidaymaker is secured and supported throughout their travel plans.”