Aer Lingus boosts flights at Cork Airport

Aer Lingus boosts flights at Cork Airport

AER Lingus yesterday revealed increased frequency across a number of Cork flights, boosting its services by more than 9% in 2017.

A total of 1.1 million seats will be available across thirteen destinations next year, including its popular London Heathrow service, which is set to increase to 34 flights per week.

The announcement was made by Mike Rutter, Aer Lingus Chief Operating Officer, at a special briefing at Cork Airport.

Extra services will be added for Barcelona, Paris and a number of popular holiday destinations too.

26,000 additional seats will be available to London, with Malaga, Alicante, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote and Palma de Mallorca all set for significant growth.

Mr Rutter said the increase in services showed the airline's commitment to Cork Airport, coming just over a year after Aer Lingus became part of the IAG Group.

"We are the largest operator at Cork Airport and we have no intention of changing that," he said.

"One and a bit years on from the IAG acquisition, all of the doom-mongers and naysayers suggesting that the world would end - we've had probably the strongest year in the company's history."

He continued, "Cork is a key base for Aer Lingus. It is doing well and it is getting better.

"Nobody should be under any illusions that we have any other agenda than to continue to prosecute our business in Cork."

Mr Rutter said the additional London connections will help to sustain business connections as the realities of Brexit are realised, as well as boosting tourism prospects.

"It is a chance to exploit the business market and drive leisure traffic, while people will also have more chances to use London for wider connectivity.

"We are maintaining our balance of business and leisure destinations, which are key to growing Cork and the wider region."

Year-on-year, a 9% increase in flights will be seen on the schedule from Cork, with 113 new flights in total each week.

The news was welcomed by airport officials at Cork.

Niall MacCarthy, managing director, said, "Heathrow, our largest route across all our airline partners, is a mainstay of our Cork operation for both direct London and long haul connectivity.

"Our business community particularly will welcome the extra capacity on that key hub.

"Our leisure customers will welcome the extra capacity on Summer sun favourites Alicante, Faro, Palma, Malaga and city break destination Barcelona. We look forward to building on that growth further with Aer Lingus in 2017."

Business chiefs in the city also heralded the news as a boost.

Laurence Owens, chief executive of Cork Business Association, said, "It's fantastic. A year is a long time in politics, but it's even longer for the airport. Twelve or fifteen months ago, it was all doom and gloom and now it's up 2.3 million passengers.

"It's another confidence boost for the sector and the region."

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