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WATCH: Pilots line streets around Dáil to protest Govt inaction on reopening travel 

Hundreds of pilots have taken part in a demonstration lining the street around Dáil Éireann calling on the government to listen to a plan being submitted by the Irish Air Line Pilots Association (IALPA) for safe reopening of international air travel. 

The Association’s president Capt Evan Cullen, submitted the plan to Cabinet, as pilots warned that “thousands of aviation workers face permanent unemployment” if what they described as government “procrastination” continued.

The IALPA said the Aviation Restart Plan was urgently required and said Government “procrastination on plans for a return of international air travel risks putting thousands of people in Ireland’s aviation sector permanently out of work”.

Pilots’ group, Restore Irish Aviation, organised the demonstration outside Leinster House at the weekend, and said that all attending would undergo rapid antigen tests for Covid-19 on arrival at the Dáil.

It rejected the government’s insistence in favouring slower, more expensive PCR tests for travel and pointed to a report from a group headed by Science Foundation Ireland recommending the use of the faster screening system.

Capt Cullen accused the Government of ignoring its own report. “This unscientific approach to public health policy serves us all poorly,” he argued.

We are requesting the immediate adoption by the government of Ireland’s Aviation Restart Plan,” Restore Irish Aviation said. “Without it the future looks bleak for the aviation sector, the jobs it supports and Ireland’s connectivity.”

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