Dáil Éireann - Volume 387 - 23 February, 1989

Written Answers. - Dublin-Milan Air Service.

[1495] 31. Tomás Mac Giolla asked the Minister for Tourism and Transport if, in view of the failure of Aer Lingus to secure an interim injunction from the European Court to force the Italian authorities to allow the airline to pick up passengers at Manchester on flights from Dublin to Milan, he intends to take any additional steps to secure these fifth freedom rights for Aer Lingus; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Minister for Tourism and Transport (Mr. Wilson): I am fully satisfied that the Aer Lingus proposal to carry fifth freedom pasengers on the Dublin-Manchester-Milan services is fully in accord with the intentions and provisions of the relevant EC Council Decision of 14 December 1987. The Minister has given his full support for that proposal from the outset and has sought to have the matter resolved through discussions between his Department and the Italian authorities and also by direct contact with the Italian Minister in the matter. The Minister also raised the matter with the Commission and gave formal support to the recent case by the Commission for interim measures so as to permit Aer Lingus to operate the service as proposed.

While the European Court in their judgment of 2 February 1989 have refused such interim measures, this decision does not prejudice the final outcome of the case which must now await a full hearing by the Court. When the case comes to hearing, it is the Minister's intention to make a formal submission in support of the Commission's case on behalf of Aer Lingus.