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Tánaiste calls on Irish tourists in Spain - who want to fly home - to do so by midnight Thursday

Tánaiste calls on Irish tourists in Spain - who want to fly home - to do so by midnight Thursday

The Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney, has today held talks with his Spanish counterpart as well as the Chief Executives of Ryanair and Aer Lingus.

Following the talks Simon Coveney TD said, “I understand the deep concern about returning home from mainland Spain or the Canary and Balearic Islands in the coming days. We have been working closely with our colleagues in the Spanish government and have an orderly plan in place with Ryanair and Aer Lingus supported by the Spanish government.”

"My Spanish Foreign Affairs and Transport counterparts have assured me that Spanish airports remain open and the country is not bringing about a flight ban. They further assure me that Spanish airspace remains open for Irish airlines to bring citizens home. I reaffirmed Ireland’s solidarity with Spain at this difficult time and thanked their frontline authorities for dealing with this unprecedented challenge.”

The Tánaiste also held a conference call with senior management from Ryanair and Aer Lingus as well as senior officials from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Ireland’s Embassy in Madrid.

The Tánaiste said, “Following my discussions with Ryanair and Aer Lingus I am calling on all Irish tourists who wish to return from Spain to do so by midnight this coming Thursday March 19th. Both airlines are allocating bigger planes to the routes in order to accommodate passengers and both airlines have waved booking and seat fees for anyone who wants to change a booking from a later flight to one in the coming days.”

Key points
• The Spanish government has assured Ireland that airports and airspace remain open
• Irish airports and airspace remains open
• Both Ryanair and Aer Lingus have been in contact with customers via email and social media channels on how to book
• Customers should book or make changes to existing bookings directly with them
• We continue to advise Irish citizens to avoid all non-essential travel to Spain
• Spanish airports are asking passengers to travel to the airport in small groups and at their allotted time
• Do not travel to a Spanish airport unless you have a booking
• Anyone returning from Spain should follow HSE advice
• We look forward to resuming the close links between Ireland and Spain in the coming weeks
• Department of Foreign Affairs travel advice and contact information is available at https://www.dfa.ie/travel/travel-advice/coronavirus/

ENDS

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