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 Empty Check In area at Cork Airport.Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Empty Check In area at Cork Airport.Picture: Jim Coughlan.
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Cork Airport call for Green List reform in five-point plan to save its future 

Management at Cork Airport has called on the government to reform the Green List to “restore confidence in international travel” and ensure the future of the airport.

Cork Airport management met with local Oireachtas members today to discuss the impact Covid-19 has had on the airport, and outline a plan for its recovery.

In its presentation, the airport said the Covid-19 crisis has had a “catastrophic impact” on Cork Airport’s finances, with passenger numbers falling by 95 percent during lockdown, and not expected to recover to 2019 levels for another four years.

The airport said it will lose around €20 million this year as a result of the pandemic.

Management set out five key points for the government to address in a bid to ensure the future of the airport.

They called for the reform of the green list and the introduction of “any required bi-lateral agreements around Covid testing for Red Zone countries”.

Management also called for Cork Airport to be added to the Regional Airport Capital Funding Programme 2020-2024; the implementation of the Aviation Taskforce recommendations; the enabling of duty free to the UK once the transition agreement ends; and a stimulus programme for inbound tourism to “recover the sector”.

The plan comes amid concerns that Ryanair could pull its winter base from the airport as a result of what it labelled as the government’s “mismanagement” of the Green List.

Cork Senator Jerry Buttimer attended the briefing at Cork Airport this morning.

Speaking to The Echo, he said:

“We got a very stark presentation from both the airport and Ryanair.

“It’s quite clear that passenger traffic has plummeted.

“We must work to ensure the future of Cork Airport and we can’t countenance, in any shape or form, Ryanair or Aer Lingus removing its bases from Cork for a period,” he added.

“That would result in thousands of job losses.

“I’m calling on Minister Ryan and Minister Naughten to meet with the aviation authority and airlines to ensure the future of Cork Airport.” Senator Buttimer also called on the Taoiseach Micheál Martin to meet with Cork Airport management.

He also advocated for Cork Airport to be added to the list of airports receiving government funding under the airport funding programme.

“Cork Airport is the gateway for investment and jobs in the region.

“It’s incumbent on the Taoiseach to deliver for our airport.”