A petition has been launched to renew flights between Cork Airport and two destinations in the UK, Yorkshire, and Cornwall.
The aim is to restore air routes between Cork and Leeds Bradford Airport in northern England, and Cornwall Airport Newquay in southwest England.
The restoration of these two routes would be “mutually beneficial” for people in southwest Ireland and the Yorkshire and Cornish regions of the UK, according to the petition organiser, John Hosford, who is based in Cork.
“The reinstatement of the routes with vigorous marketing at both sides of the Irish Sea would enhance the economic potential of all regions mentioned as well as social connectivity,” he said.
"It would open the regions’ potentials for weekend breaks and would provide access to trade shows and conferences in Harrogate which can be reached in less than half an hour from Leeds and Bradford Airport, saving valuable time, while opening up more potential in both southwest Ireland and Yorkshire, added Mr Hosford.
All three regions in both the UK and southwest Ireland have very attractive tourist attractions: Cork on the Wild Atlantic Way and Ancient East Tourist Routes, with excellent artisan food producers and restaurants, while Yorkshire and Cornwall have “outstanding attractions”, added Mr Hosford.
At present, travellers must go to Dublin from Cork to visit these two UK destinations. “I have friends that live in Cornwall and at present it is very hard to visit them. Please restore the route to Newquay,” commented Margaret Thomas in Cork.
Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, the seasonal Cork to Newquay route was operated by Stobart Air, on behalf of Aer Lingus Regional, said the spokesperson for Cork Airport, Barry Holland.
Stobart Air ceased all operations in June 2021, as the company went into liquidation. Stobart Air (Aer Lingus Regional) also operated a service to Leeds-Bradford, which commenced in March 2016.
However, this route ceased operating a short time later as it was not deemed commercially viable by the airline.
“While we are aware of a petition to re-establish the route in circulation, it is important to note that airlines make decisions to establish routes on a commercial basis, based on a rigorous and robust business case, taking into account projected demand, yield and route viability,” said Mr Holland.
“Cork Airport currently offers superb connectivity to London and the UK provincial cities, and we are consistently growing our connections with the UK,” added Mr Holland.
This Friday, April 29, a new Aer Lingus Regional service to Bristol will commence. The service will be operated by Emerald Airlines, and will operate six times weekly, on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Sunday.
More recently, Ryanair commenced a new twice-weekly service to the East Midlands. This service will increase to three-times weekly from May onwards.
Other UK services from Cork Airport include London Heathrow (Aer Lingus), London Stansted (Ryanair), London Gatwick (Ryanair), London Luton (Ryanair), Manchester (Ryanair), Edinburgh (Ryanair), Liverpool (Ryanair), and Birmingham (Ryanair).
The petition can be signed at change.org.