11th June 2020

Shannon Group CEO appointed to the new Aviation Recovery Task Force



Mary Considine, CEO, Shannon Group, has been appointed to the new expert taskforce for Aviation Recovery announced  by Shane Ross, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport.

The Aviation Taskforce is charged with advising on a framework for promoting the return of aviation connectivity and aviation enterprises that are critical to supporting the wider economic recovery.  The focus is on the immediate action required and further measures with a five-year outlook.  It will prepare an Aviation Recovery Action Plan setting out recommendations for consideration by Government. The Action Plan should be concluded and submitted by July 10th.

Comprising leaders from across the aviation sector, with Union and Tourism representatives, the Aviation Taskforce will be chaired by Chris Horn, Venture Partner at Atlantic Bridge. The first meeting of the Taskforce will take place this Friday, 12th June.

In his announcement of the establishment of the body, Minister Ross said the recovery of the aviation sector is vital to the State and the economy’s recovery as a whole. He said that as an island economy built largely on international trade and foreign direct investment, aviation is the lifeline that connects us to the global economy. He added that the process of economic recovery as we emerge from this crisis will depend on the recovery of the aviation sector.

Commenting on her appointment, Mary Considine, CEO, Shannon Group said: “As an airport operator, this is a very difficult and challenging time for us. The aviation sector globally has been devastated by the pandemic. Over the course of the last two months, like other airports all over the world, we have witnessed an almost total collapse of our airport traffic and revenues.

The ability to rebuild in the aftermath of this pandemic is reliant on having strong airports. We know that strong airports help to stimulate a strong national economy. I am pleased to have been appointed to the Taskforce and while recovery will be slow, I look forward to working with the other members of the team and playing my part in helping to shape the plan for restarting aviation.”


In developing the Plan, the Taskforce will:

  • have regard to the particular dependence of Ireland on air connectivity to support the various business, foreign direct investment, tourism and social linkages that underpin the economy and society;
  • consider measures to counter the challenges arising from the Covid-19 crisis that will impact on the aviation market due to (1) the negative demand consequences arising from  reduced consumer confidence, changed behaviours for business meetings and the general economic slowdown/recession and (2) the negative supply consequences due to increased costs of service provision arising from public health requirements to stem the spread of the virus;
  • consider the priorities for connectivity for business and tourism while acknowledging that the relaxation of restrictions on air travel is likely to occur on a phased basis determined in accordance with public health advice and by reference to the criteria outlined by the European Commission as a basis for an aligned European approach;
  • appreciate that strategic interests, competitiveness, preservation of employment, sustainability considerations and regional balance are all important factors that must be balanced;
  • have regard for the possible need for sustained application of the measures contained in the proposed Code of Practice for the management of airline passengers in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic being developed on the basis of the EASA/ECDC Guidelines;
  • recommend policy initiatives to support recovery acknowledging that any support through exchequer resources would have to be a last resort clearly grounded in a business case to support Ireland’s strategic interests; and identify any international initiatives at EU or global level that might support the recovery.


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