DUBLIN, July 28 (Reuters) - Demand has been weaker than
Irish airline Aer Lingus expected five or six weeks ago
amid continued coronavirus restrictions and opposition to
international travel in Ireland, Chief Executive Sean Doyle said
While most of the neighbouring United Kingdom is allowing
travel to around 50 countries, Ireland has just 15 on its
approved list and is demanding travellers from countries
including Britain, Spain and the United States to quarantine.
The government also continues to advise residents against
all non-essential travel, even to approved destinations.
"If we look at the wider demand, it is not recovering the
way we would have hoped maybe five or six weeks ago .... The
narrative around travel has been negative in the period," said
Doyle, whose airline is part of International Airlines Group
that also includes British Airways.
Ireland's success in attracting multinational foreign direct
investment, which Doyle said was around five times higher than
the European average, could be damaged.
"We have built our economic model on being open for
business, on being a global economy. I do think that we are
taking that for granted at the minute and not understanding the
consequences for that sector... if we don't enable
connectivity," said Doyle, who was speaking at an Irish
His comments came as global airlines cut their coronavirus
recovery forecast on Tuesday, saying it would take until 2024 -
a year longer than previously expected - for passenger traffic
to return to pre-crisis levels.
(Reporting by Conor Humphries, editing by Padraic Halpin and