Cork Airport director Niall MacCarthy has said people were “ashamed” to say they worked at Cork Airport in a period when passengers numbers were low at the airport.
Significant growth has turned the tide of public opinion on the airport in recent years with the most recent figures in September showing a 6% bump in passenger numbers.
“It got to the stage where people were almost ashamed to say they worked at Cork Airport,” said Mr MacCarthy.
“If they went to a pub or for a bite to eat and they said they worked at the airport, their whole night was destroyed by people giving out. It was so bad for two years that people said, 'I don't tell people I work here anymore'.
“It took a lot of work to turn it around and a lot of work was put into growth because once you're growing, you can defend anything,” he added.
Mr MacCarthy also told a special meeting of Cork County Council that long-haul flights to Aisa and Australia were not being planned in the foreseeable future.
“Direct flights to Australia and China are not on the immediate agenda for a number of reasons. It's huge aircraft that service those long hauls. You'd need a three-kilometre runway,” he said.
“At the moment, you can just hop over to Amsterdam and fly to Australia and there are flights from Heathrow. There is no issue with connectivity,” he added.