AER Lingus has confirmed it has decided to cease its Cork Airport to Southampton route from May after a “comprehensive” review of its flight network.
The year-round service, operated by Stobart Air, began in March 2016 and flew up to five times weekly but has now been scrapped with Southampton Airport indicating the airline has made the decision based on ticket sales.
A spokesperson for Stobart Air told the Evening Echo that passengers who have already booked flights beyond the route’s end date on May 20 have been notified.
“Beginning 20 May 2019, the airline will suspend the Cork to Southampton route. All scheduled flights on this route between now and 20 May will operate as normal. All passengers impacted have been notified and offered alternative travel options or a full refund.
“This decision follows a comprehensive review of our overall route network and performance and how we best deploy aircraft and services to ensure we continue to develop our routes to meet customer demand,” the spokesperson added.
Cork Airport numbers spiked by 9% in January with 149,268 people flying from the airport and there were 89 more commercial flights than in the same period last year.
A spokesperson for Cork Airport said: “The Cork–Birmingham route will increase to a three times daily service on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays, as well as a twice-daily service Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays on the strength of the review.
“Cork Airport is Ireland’s second busiest and best-connected international airport [and] is in its fourth year of consecutive growth and is set to see passenger numbers rise by a further 8% this year to 2.6 million,” they added.
The airport has this week been ranked as Ireland’s most punctual. Global aviation analysts OAG revealed that Cork Airport topped the punctuality league for international airports in Ireland in 2018, with an on-time performance of 80.2%.
Airport director Niall MacCarthy said: "Topping the punctuality league of Irish airports is a testament to the extensive work the team at Cork Airport, along with our airline partners, put in to provide hassle-free and seamless travel for passengers flying out of the south of Ireland.
“Over 50 routes are now on offer from Cork Airport across the UK, continental Europe and the east coast of the USA, and we are committed to continue this growth throughout 2019,” he added.