COMMONS

Willie Walsh, Ryanair and easyJet questioned on air transport strategy

06 September 2012

The Northern Ireland Affairs Committee will hear from Willie Walsh (IAG), Ryanair and easyJet in its inquiry into an air transport strategy for Northern Ireland.

The Committee will be holding two evidence sessions on Wednesday 12 September.

Morning meeting

Committee Room 8, House of Commons

At 10.15 am

  • Willie Walsh, Chief Executive, International Airlines Group (IAG)

Afternoon meeting

The Grimond Room, Portcullis House

At 3.30 pm

  • Kate Sherry, Deputy Director of Route Development, Ryanair

At 4.15 pm

  • Paul Simmons, UK Director, easyJet

The Committee is inquiring into:

  • the implications of current air links for Northern Ireland, specifically the  economy;
  • regional and international connectivity;
  • the  lack of public transport links to, and between, Belfast International, Belfast City and City of Derry airports;
  • the implications for Northern Ireland of the Civil Aviation Bill;
  • the implications of the proposed takeover of bmi by IAG; and
    tax policy.

Information released by the NI Chamber of Commerce and BAA on 14 February 2012 stated that:

  • One in ten jobs in Northern Ireland depend on foreign investment, and half of those companies can only reach their home market through a hub airport;
  • Aviation supports £1bn of exports from Northern Ireland;
  • Foreign tourists spend £195m a year in Northern Ireland and account for 360,000 visits – 150,000 of whom arrive by air; and
  • Northern Ireland benefits directly from having a global hub in Britain, with Heathrow directly supporting 1,000 tourism jobs and 900 airport jobs in Northern Ireland.

The Committee has previously heard oral evidence from representatives of Belfast International Airport, George Best Belfast City Airport, City of Derry Airport, CBI Northern Ireland, ABTA, Unite, the Consumer Council for NI, BALPA, the Department for Transport, the UK Border Agency and the Northern Ireland Executive.

Image: iStockphoto

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