Irish regional airlines have warned that delays are expected this weekend, as police forces will conduct additional checks on airline workers.
According to the Irish Times, regional air travel operators Aer Lingus and Emerald Airlines expect a delay this weekend, if the Garda Siochana police force does not speed up the completion of enhanced checks on new applicants, as these companies hire more workers ahead of the summer season. , TheSchengen.com reports.
On January 1, the Irish government adopted an EU directive urging a detailed background check of aviation workers for new job candidates. As a result, some 35,000-42,000 workers expect additional background checks by Garda to try to ensure they can continue to work for airlines and airports.
The new rules are meant to reveal workers’ criminal records over the past five years, including previous employment and education, along with any loopholes in either.
On the other hand, the carriers claim that it takes more than four weeks for the checks to take place, which in their opinion may be done within 14 days, and therefore additional police forces dedicated to this task should be deployed.
Irish airlines and the airline industry could hire around 3,000 new workers this year in a bid to recover from strict COVID-19 restrictions, which have hit the industry so hard, that Irish tourism suffered 400 million euros in losses in December alone.
Unfortunately, Irish tourism is not expected to rebound any time soon, with Paul Kelly, chief executive of tourism commercial transport, Failte Ireland, stating that the country will not reach pre-pandemic levels at least until 2026.
More specifically, government-imposed travel restrictions have impacted tourism significantly as nearly €12.2 billion has been wasted in the tourism sector due to the ongoing pandemic.
Air travel companies fear the slow pace of checks, which is contributing to congestion as the industry prepares for the summer season. According to current employees, airlines are not concerned because workers can apply early to renew their permits in an effort to reduce potential delays.
The airline’s representatives also warned non-national applicants to expect longer delays as this would require Garda to contact other police forces.
Furthermore, the Irish Department of Transport revealed that the new screening requirements are in line with European regulations aimed at protecting public safety from terrorist threats. The same added that all people with an airport ID may be eligible for such a security check.
>> New travel rules come into effect today in Ireland