COUNTY Mayor Cllr John Paul O’Shea has come out strongly in response to an objection lodged by the Irish Air Line Pilots Association (IALPA) against the granting of a licence to Norwegian Air International to commence its planned Cork – Boston route.
'The submission made by IALPA is filled once again with the same previously old misleading claims,' he said. 'The comments made in relation to Norwegian’s alleged use of contract crew has already been refuted repeatedly by the airline on the record and to the satisfaction of Irish and EU authorities. This argument holds no weight at all and is completely unsubstantiated.
'IAPLA has questioned the integrity of our Irish employment laws and that of our publicly elected officials. In Ireland, we have stringent employment legislation in place to protect employees. Norwegian has given written assurances that it will only employ crews from the EU or the US; it cannot be made any clearer and this assurance has been accepted by Government authorities on both sides of the Atlantic.
'To claim that local politicians in Cork were somehow used as pawns by the airline in the recent General Election is downright insulting. Everyone with an interest in progressing business and tourism in Ireland has been hugely supportive because they can see the benefits as they’re not clouded by protectionist views that are anti-consumer and anti-competitive.
'This process has been going now for two years and as a result both the local economy here in Cork and Munster, as well as in the U.S., has lost out. It is clear to me from reading the submissions, both in favour and against, that there is no reason, legally or morally, why this route cannot take off as soon as possible the US Authorities finally grant the licence,' he concluded.