Aer Lingus’ new winter schedule contains no new flights from Cork Airport, with all of the new routes announced based in either Shannon or Dublin.
However, a spokesperson for Cork Airport said Aer Lingus Regional, which is operated by Aer Arann, will operate additional services to Birmingham and Manchester.
"Aer Lingus are our biggest customer. they have three aircraft based here year round. It is a very solid schedule that has 23 routes, with 15 of them sustained throughout the year," the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson added there will be up to three flights a day to Birmingham and Manchester that will service business users in the region.
A spokesperson for Aer Lingus said Cork is still a key part of the airline’s operations. "The schedule includes winter sunshine options such as Malaga, Tenerife, Lanzarote and Las Palmas. There are also ski options of Geneva and Munich with a choice of city breaks to Amsterdam, Brussels, London and Paris."
According to the Cork Chamber of Commerce, one of the key routes required at Cork Airport is the restoration of the Cork-Dublin connection.
With Dublin being developed as a European hub for passengers flying to America, the importance of feeding into the network has never been greater, argues the chamber.
"The Dublin Airport Authority has stated it was their number one priority to get a Dublin-Cork link back," chamber chief executive Conor Healy said.
"We are working with them to prove that demand exists," he said.
Aer Lingus has been successfully targeting the UK market to fill transatlantic flights. The airline has increased its flights to Boston, bringing the total number of services per week to 11.
Flights from Shannon to Boston will operate daily, year-round, from January.
Aer Lingus director of communications, Declan Kearney, said, "Today’s announcement supports Aer Lingus’ strategy to provide greater access and choice for Irish customers."