The Chief Executive of the Irish Travel Agents Association Pat Dawson has said travel agents and tour operators are owed between €25m-€30m from airlines.

He told the Oireachtas Transport Committee that the sector has been "burning cash" over the past six months and spend most of their time trying to get refunds for customers from airlines. 

Mr Dawson said it is taking four to five months to get refunds from airlines.

He urged the committee to call in the airlines and get the money back to the consumer.

Mr Dawson claims Ryanair is saying it will not refund travel agents and he said the airline needs to be "hauled over the coals" to ensure the company refunds people.

Mr Dawson said there was also the issue of "ghost flights" where flights are flying so they do not have to refund the money.

He said airlines flew this summer because it was cheaper than cancelling the flights.

Former Chairman of the Government's Taskforce for Aviation Recovery Chris Horan told the committee that it is "incredibly frustrating" that the recommendation from Government is non-essential travel only to and from the United States.

He said the lack of connectivity and ability to travel to the US right now is "really hurting" theindigenous  technology sector.

Mr Horan also said that it has now been three months since the recommendations were made in the taskforce report.

However, he said it would appear that some of those recommendations have not been followed through by Government.

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