Travel Agents still grounded by Covid

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Travel agents say the Government’s six month plan for living with Covid-19 has done nothing for them.

Roscrea native Michael Doorley is President of the Irish Travel Agents Association. He says nothing has changed regarding the current situation for the travel sector.

Speaking on Tipp Today he said the ITAA have made an application to the government for extra consideration given the industry is in a rather unusual situation.

“Since the 1st of April I’ve had no income and I won’t have for another six months possibly. In the meantime I have to keep people employed because we’re looking after all the bookings that were made, that are being transferred to later this year or transferred to next year. So we have to keep staff employed but we have no income.”

“So we’ve made a case to the government that they need to give us a special fund – not huge – that will make it easier for agents to continue business.”

The future of Shannon Airport is also a major concern for Irish Travel agents.

Fears have been expressed for its future with suggestions that Aer Lingus may move some of its transatlantic flights to UK airports.

However Michael Doorley is hopeful that won’t come to pass.

“It’s so important for the western seaboard but not only that. It’s important for people in Cork as well. Getting from Cork to Shannon Airport and getting out to the States from there is an awful lot easier than having to travel to Dublin for transatlantic flights.

“So hopefully it’s a lot of sabre rattling at the minute.”