Cork boosted by airline competition

Cork boosted by airline competition

By Pádraig Hoare

A tussle for supremacy between Aer Lingus and Ryanair at Cork Airport is set to benefit passengers all over Munster, with new routes being announced and more in the pipeline.

Ryanair has announced it will fly from Cork to the Hungarian capital Budapest from April next year, the fourth new route it has added in recent weeks.

The airline said it is aiming to carry 1.1m passengers through Cork next year, or growth of around 20%, after it added Malta, Luton and Poznan to its schedule.

Cork Airport is forecasting growth of 4% overall this year, with scheduled flights to over 40 destinations operated by nine airlines.

Ryanair flights to Luton begin in October, Malta in March, and Poznan in April.

The Michael O’Leary-led airline is also extending its summer service from Cork to Faro into the winter season, making it a year-round service.

There are now 16 Ryanair routes operating out of Cork.

The ramp-up of Ryanair operations has not gone unnoticed by Aer Lingus.

The IAG-owned airline is planning to combat Ryanair’s bid for Cork Airport domination by extending its own services in the coming months.

When asked by travel industry figures this week if it was committed to expanding in Cork, Aer Lingus chief executive Stephen Kavanagh was bullish.

“We are the largest airline in Cork and we intend to maintain that position,” Mr Kavanagh said.

He said Aer Lingus would be making announcements in the coming weeks focusing on expansion in mainly European cities.

The new routes are a boon to Cork Airport chiefs, with Cork’s first ever transatlantic flights to Providence in Rhode Island postponed for the winter season, before returning next spring for the summer schedule.

After falling numbers in recent years, Munster rival Shannon Airport has grown 5% in the first six months of this year compared to the same period last year, bolstered by the beefing up of north American routes.

Cork boosted by airline competition

However, numbers at Shannon remain significantly behind those of Cork, which saw growth of 3.7% in the first six months against the same period last year, with just short of 1.1m going through the airport, according to CSO figures.

Cork Airport managing director Niall MacCarthy said the facility was the “perfect choice” for Ryanair’s new routes and its planned 20% passenger expansion.

“With the support of our Munster passenger base and regional stakeholders, we look forward to a strong and vibrant 2019 with further growth to come,” Mr MacCarthy said.

More on this topic

IT@Cork Leader Awards: Leading tech sector innovators honouredIT@Cork Leader Awards: Leading tech sector innovators honoured

Metropole rolls out red carpet to remember first head porterMetropole rolls out red carpet to remember first head porter

College sweethearts return to UCC more than 50 years later to re-stage photographCollege sweethearts return to UCC more than 50 years later to re-stage photograph

'Extremely offensive sign' at Cork Intreo office causes international upset'Extremely offensive sign' at Cork Intreo office causes international upset

More in this Section

Serious Fraud Office closes Libor rigging investigationSerious Fraud Office closes Libor rigging investigation

Johnson insists EU free trade agreement can be struck amid no-deal Brexit fearsJohnson insists EU free trade agreement can be struck amid no-deal Brexit fears

IDA Ireland: Era of optimism with growth evident in all sectorsIDA Ireland: Era of optimism with growth evident in all sectors

Renault warning of slowing sales haunts rest of European car industryRenault warning of slowing sales haunts rest of European car industry


Lifestyle

Ovarian cancer has been dubbed ‘the silent killer’. Christina Henry tells Rowena Walsh why she is one of the lucky onesAgeing with attitude: Life after ovarian cancer

As almost a father of two, Donal Skehan has realised that in order to survive with young children, quick and easy meals are key, writes Ciara McDonnell.Donal Skehan's newest recipes are quick and easy

Jamie Oliver is on a mission to get everyone eating more vegetables with the release of his new book, Veg.A selection of recipes from Jamie Oliver's new book Veg

More From The Irish Examiner