Niall MacCarthy, Managing Director at Cork Airport said: “The news that Ryanair will be cancelling all flights from Cork Airport for a four week period from mid-November to mid-December is a further body blow to the Irish aviation industry and to Cork and the South of Ireland in particular.”
“The Irish aviation ecosystem is already extremely weakened and fragile and each blow delivers further incremental damage. It is acknowledged that as an island nation with an open economy we have to learn to co-exist with this virus for quite some time yet. In that regard, we welcome the Irish Government’s adoption of the EU traffic light system from 8th November. However, a low cost, scalable, results pre-departure testing regime needs to form the backbone of the return of confidence in safe air travel. The mechanisms and protocols for this are yet to be agreed in Ireland and this is beyond urgent now.”
“We still expect at this stage to have between 14 and 18 flights per week with KLM and Aer Lingus serving Amsterdam and Heathrow during the period 15th November to 5th December. In addition, we plan, with Government support, to continue to provide services for search and rescue flights, coastguard helicopter, Garda helicopter, Irish Aer Corps, Medical evacuation (medevac) and transplant flights. However our passenger numbers for November this year are likely to be 9,000 versus 172,000 in the same month last year, a decrease of 95%.”
“In that regard, we welcome the commencement of capital expenditure supports announced in the budget for 2021 and we look forward to engagement on an overall financial support package for Cork Airport ahead of the National Development plan announcements in November when it is expected the Aviation Taskforce recommendations will be addressed.”
“Cork Airport is responsible for nearly €1 billion of economic added value to the Minster economy. We look forward to mapping out a clear pathway with Government, firstly with testing and appropriate aviation financial supports, to sustaining and rebuilding our business so we can again become an engine of recovery for the South of Ireland economy.”
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