SIPTU representatives have called on the Government to provide immediate assistance to aviation workers in regional airports following the announcement by Ryanair, today (Wednesday, 28th October), that it intends to cancel all flights from Cork, Shannon and Knock airports for four weeks during November. SIPTU Sector Organiser, Neil McGowan, said: “The Ryanair decision is a devastating blow to workers in the regional international airports. It will reduce the number of flights in these airports to minimal levels or bring about their temporary closure. There is also a real concern that the cancellations will continue into 2021. “For several months, SIPTU has been calling on the Government to improve the level of payment the wage subsidy scheme provides for workers in the aviation industry. The Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting travel restrictions have had a crippling impact on the industry. There has been a lack of urgency by government in tackling the crisis in the aviation industry and this has had a devastating impact on Cork, Shannon and Knock airports.” He added: “SIPTU representatives have been seeking a meeting with Minister of State for International and Road Transport and Logistics, Hildegarde Naughton. Following this announcement by Ryanair, it is absolutely essential she meets with us immediately”. SIPTU Organiser, Tony Carroll, said: “This latest blow to Aviation will see further and immediate lay-offs, job losses, more redundancies and a further erosion in the incomes of airport workers in the run up to Christmas.” SIPTU TEAC Division Organiser, Karan O Loughlin, said: “The failure of the Government to offer sufficient supports to the Aviation industry in Budget 2021 has been brought into sharp focus by the announcement today of cancellations by Ryanair. We have real concerns for the future viability of the regional airports. If we are to maintain international airports in the West and South of the country it is vital that the Government offers more support to these facilities and their workers.”