Eamon Ryan says army could be called on to help combat Dublin Airport delays
Over 200,000 passengers are due to travel from the airport between Friday and Monday.
Transport Minister Eamon Ryan has said the army could be called in to combat delays at Dublin Airport should measures already in place to deal with issues over queuing and overcrowding no longer work.
This follows Airlines for America - the industry body representing airlines Air Canada, Delta and United - stating that staffing shortages at Dublin Airport following the pandemic were causing "significant delays" for its airlines.
As such, it wrote to the Transport Minister seeking a meeting to address the problems.
Meanwhile, Dublin Airport has said that the number of passengers flying out from the location between Friday and Monday will be between 50,000 and 55,000 every day.
Appearing on RTÉ News at One, Ryan was asked if he was going to meet with Airlines for America.
"Yes, we've written back to the airlines... and I agree, we have to address this issue," he responded.
"We'll be working directly with Dublin Airport. We are looking at a whole range of different solutions because no one wants passengers not to be able to get their flights.
"This is a problem right across northern Europe. We don't want to take the route that other countries and other airports have taken where they've cancelled significant numbers of flights to be able to manage this situation.
"We think that would be, for the Irish travelling public, a real inconvenience."
Ryan said it was "particularly challenging" for Dublin Airport, not just resuming services after the pandemic and hiring new employees, but also dealing with staff absences due to Covid.
However, he added that the airport "will do everything" to make sure it gets through the busy summer period.
"Dublin Airport has gone beyond what they originally planned - there's a further 100 people in training as we speak to create a full-time workforce to make sure we have a buffer so that there's even beyond what is immediately needed in case Covid takes certain workers out," Ryan told the programme.
On top of this, the Minister said other measures to manage the issues are being looked at.
Asked if this included "calling in the army", Ryan replied: "As needs be... that's something that we've always said.
"If, as I said, the measures that we've put in place at the moment aren't working, we've always said we would look at further measures as needs be."
Main images via Sasko Lazarov and Leah Farrell / RollingNews.ie