FINE Gael TD Jim Daly wants Taoiseach Enda Kenny to lobby US president-elect Donald Trump over the delay in granting a licence for Norwegian Air’s Cork-US routes.
The Cork South West deputy says the Taoiseach should lead a delegation early in the New Year to Washington to lobby the new administration to allow Norwegian Airlines to fly from Cork Airport to the USA.
Addressing the Taoiseach in the Dáil this week, Jim Daly noted the recent controversy over Donald Trump’s intention to build a wall around the Mexican coast.
But he accused the Obama-led administration of ‘building a wall in the skies’ and preventing all transatlantic traffic from the US to Ireland’s second largest airport.
Deputy Jim Daly advised the Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD that he had ‘numerous conversations’ with Dan Kantz chief of staff to US Transport Secretary Anthony Foxx.
‘Despite my best entreaties, Secretary Foxx has still refused to grant the licence to Norwegian Airlines to fly direct from Cork Airport,’ he told The Southern Star.
The Taoiseach responded to Jim Daly outlining how he had raised the matter directly with President Obama and vice-president Biden and efforts continue to be made by the current Minister for Transport, Shane Ross.
The Taoiseach assured Deputy Daly that he would consider the request and continue to explore all avenues to have the matter progressed.
Speaking following the debate in the Dáil, Jim Daly expressed his hope that the new administration led by president-elect Trump will see fit to ‘undo the present injustice being perpetrated on the people of Cork and the wider Munster region’ and grant a licence to allow the route to take off early next year. ‘I will continue to lobby the Taoiseach at every opportunity as the only barriers to this route taking off are not economic or safety, but political,’ concluded the deputy.