The claim comes as it is revealed that Cork Airport management is to host a crisis briefing for local TDs and senators on Monday, amid mounting concerns over the airport’s future.
In an email to Oireachtas members in the region, seen by The Echo, management at Cork Airport said that aviation in Ireland “is undergoing the most serious crisis in its history due to the international consequences of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic”.
A spokesperson for Cork Airport told The Echo: “Cork Airport management are briefing Cork members of the Oireachtas privately on Monday on the current situation, and the urgent need for the Government to map out a pathway to restore confidence in air travel to and from Ireland.”
The briefing comes just days after reports that Ryanair is threatening to close its Cork Airport base this winter, blaming the Government’s “mismanagement” of the green travel list.
It was also recently revealed that the airport will have lost more than €23 million in revenue by the end of the year after it saw 95% less passengers compared to 201
Cork politicians have now called for the Government to intervene to ensure jobs are not lost as a result of the significant impact the pandemic, and subsequent travel restrictions, have had on the airport.
Speaking to The Echo, Cork Fine Gael Senator Jerry Buttimer, said:“It's critical that the Government recognises the seriousness of the situation facing our airport.
“Thousands of jobs are at risk.
“Now is the time for An Taoiseach and Cork's cabinet ministers to not be found wanting,” he added.
“Cork Airport is central to the economic growth of the region.”
Senator Buttimer called for capital investment in Cork airport, along with the implementation of rapid Covid-19 testing to enable travel subject to public health guidelines.
Cork South-Central Sinn Fein TD, Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire said the Government must also prevent the winter closure of Ryanair’s base at Cork Airport.
“The Government must swiftly ensure that no jobs are lost in Cork, and that the Cork Ryanair base can be safeguarded.
“We have the Taoiseach and two more senior Ministers in this constituency.
“Taoiseach Martin, and Ministers Coveney and McGrath need to address this urgently,” he added.
“Any closure simply cannot be allowed to happen.”
Meanwhile, Conor Healy, CEO of Cork Chamber described the reports about Ryanair closing the winter base in Cork as "very concerning" and said this would also impact the wider Cork region.