Ryanair, today (Tues, 2nd Mar) confirmed that its Cork base will not reopen until Winter 2021 – at the earliest – due to Cork Airport’s crazy plan to dig up its runway during the months of Sept, Oct & Nov. Ryanair will continue to fly to and from Cork Airport in S21, but only with aircraft that are based at other airports, such as London Stansted. Ryanair criticised the Irish Government’s failed international travel restrictions, which are imposed on inbound airport and port visitors, while its 300 mile border with Northern Ireland remains open.
Micheál Martin’s Government needs to provide a clear roadmap for the recovery of Cork Airport, which in fact, continues to be the most expensive of Ireland’s major airports. It has failed to offer any Covid recovery incentives, and now plans to undertake runway works during the months of Sept, Oct & Nov, which would prevent Ryanair’s Cork based aircraft taking off early in the morning or returning late in the evening. Ryanair remains committed to Cork Airport and will operate to the airport from bases overseas in S21, and hopes to reopen its base in Winter 2021, if Cork Airport develops a competitive recovery program. As the local TD, An Taoiseach Micheál Martin should be encouraging recovery incentives at Cork Airport, and not further construction work at an airport that is essentially empty.
A Ryanair spokesperson said:
“We deeply regret the closure of our Cork base last winter due to the Irish Government’s failed Covid restrictions, which have collapsed air travel at Cork, Shannon and Dublin Airports, even while thousands of Covid cases have been imported across the Northern Ireland border. The counties with the highest rate of Covid cases have been consistently been the Border counties, not the counties of Cork, Dublin and Clare, where our main international airports are. NPHET’s policy of targeting our airports while failing to restrict “international travel” across the border with Northern Ireland have done untold damage to Irish air travel and tourism industries.
With less than 1% of Covid-19 cases attributed to “international travel”, and the majority of this taking place across the border with Northern Ireland, the Irish Government and its advisors, NPHET, have repeatedly mismanaged our Covid-19 response. Even today, EU countries such as Denmark have delivered 50% more vaccines than Ireland despite having a similar population (5m), and we continue to lag behind other EU states. Ireland’s failure to lead other EU states on the vaccine rollout is yet another failure of NPHET and Government policy.
Instead of planning for the recovery of our aviation and tourism industries, the Irish Government have stood idly by while Irish ATC charges have increased by 32% from 1st Jan. In a moment when Irish travel and tourism has collapsed, why is Transport Minister Eamon Ryan allowing Irish ATC charges to explode by 32% at a time when inflation is practically zero?”.