Cork Airport dealt 'body blow' as Ryanair grounds all flights for four weeks

Cork Airport dealt 'body blow' as Ryanair grounds all flights for four weeks

A Ryanair airplane on the tarmac at Cork Airport.

Cork Airport has been dealt a "body blow" as all of Ryanair’s flights will be grounded from both Cork and Shannon Airports from November 4.

Company CEO Eddie Wilson confirmed the decision to pull the flights at a meeting of the Committee on Transport and Communications Networks this afternoon.

Flights are to be grounded from Cork Airport for a four-week period. 

Mr Wilson said that the passenger numbers out of both Cork and Shannon airports have been “shocking” in recent months.

Asked by Deputy Kieran O’Donnell why he had decided to discontinue any flights out of Cork and Shannon from November 4, just four days before the EU traffic light system is due to come into force, Mr Wilson said it was “because we’ve got no demand”.

“There are no passengers,” he said.

“I can only deal with what I have and the simple answer is we’re not flying because there’s nobody booking. 

"It’s as simple as that,” he said.

Interim CEO of Aer Lingus Dónal Moriarty also informed the committee that flights on the airline’s Cork/Heathrow route will be reduced for the coming weeks.

Managing Director at Cork Airport, Niall MacCarthy, said the news was “a further body blow to the Irish aviation industry and to Cork and the South of Ireland in particular”.

Cork Chamber has said the axing of Ryanair's remaining routes will have a "deep impact for tourism, hospitality, arts and aviation in the region."

"Once a route or airline is gone, there is little short-term prospect of its return and this reality is one that will have direct consequences for many struggling businesses.," Chamber President Paula Cogan said.

“As ever, a firm commitment to EU travel standards and most importantly the ability to implement proactive travel testing without delay remains essential," she added.

Ms Cogan added: “With the right supports and protocols in place there is no doubt that Cork Airport can continue to deliver for the region. 

"We were encouraged to hear in our discussion with An Taoiseach last week, that capital expenditure and antigen testing are subjects of focus for Government and that clarity on how we implement the EU protocols will be forthcoming early next month.”

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