A FORMER Lord Mayor of Cork has slammed the Dublin Airport Authority for turning Patrick’s Quay into a “third terminal for Dublin Airport”.
Cllr Des Cahill said that the DAA, which manages Cork Airport, continues to favour the capital when it comes to adding new routes; a situation which has left thousands of holidaymakers and travellers boarding buses from Cork’s quays to head to Dublin for flights.
The Fine Gael councillor, who served as Lord Mayor in 2016/17, said he is ‘blue in the face’ from listening to excuses and said it is time for action.
“Ultimately, they are forcing people to travel to Dublin Airport,” he said.
“Patrick’s Quay is busy every day with people boarding buses and leaving the city because the destination isn’t there or the flights are booked up.
“Cork Airport management has done a great job, but their hands are tied by the DAA and it is time that they change their stance.”
Mr Cahill said that Patrick’s Quay is essentially acting as an extra terminal for Dublin Airport, with the likes of the Aircoach and the GoBe services to the airport regularly thronged with Leesiders heading for flights.
He said that he has used the bus service on a number of occasions in recent weeks himself as destinations were unavailable from Cork.
“It is ridiculous,” he said.
“Brussels has six flights per day from Dublin and none from Cork. If you take Kilkenny as the half-way point in the journey, it is quicker for everyone south of there to travel to Cork Airport and, yet, so many of them are going to Dublin.”
In 2017, a record-breaking 29.6 million passengers travelled through Dublin Airport. At the end of the year, Dublin offered flights to 191 destinations in 42 countries, making it the 11th largest airport in the EU.
Passenger numbers increased in Cork too, surpassing the 2.3 million mark in 2017. While Cork is still enjoying growth on a monthly basis, Mr Cahill says the imbalance is turning the country into a one-airport state. If the DAA is serious about Cork growing in the coming years, they need to allocate more routes there. It’s that simple,” he said.