The directors of Kerry Airport say they are projecting major trading losses this year at a level not seen before in the airport's history.
Publishing its annual report for 2019 where they increased profits and passenger numbers, the airport said the Covid-19 pandemic provides significant future uncertainty.
"Undoubtedly there will be many months, if not years, of toil ahead to recover fully," the airport's CEO John Mulhern said.
"There is no doubt when the time is right and it is safe to do so, the Airport will regroup and continue its mission in supporting Kerry and this regions’ economy."
Total passenger numbers handled in the year grew to 369,836 compared with 365,339 in the previous year, an increase of 1.2%.
A twice-daily flight to Dublin is operated by Stobart Air for Aer Lingus Regional under a Public Service Obligation (PSO) contract. Ryanair also operates flights from Kerry to London-Stansted, London-Luton, Manchester, Frankfurt-Hahn, Berlin, Alicante and Faro.
As the pandemic spread and shut down global air travel, Ryanair ceased all flights from Kerry for April, May and June while the PSO-subsidised route to Dublin remained operational.
The directors said that post Covid-19, there will be an even greater requirement for continued Government support as the Airport will incur considerable trading losses as a result of reduced air travel whilst continuing to bear the significant fixed costs necessary to maintain its aerodrome licence. The airport has not imposed any redundancies and has maintained all jobs.
According to the annual report turnover at Kerry Airport increased from €7.9m to €8.6m reflecting an increase in aircraft and passenger related revenue due to growth in passenger numbers (+1.2%) using the facility, as well as additional business generated via oil exploration and event management hosting.
The airport said profitability has been enhanced by achieving better margins on a number of revenue streams as well as increased activity in fuel sales and corporate jet activity.
Mr Mulhern restated the importance of the PSO route between Kerry and Dublin. "This remains a very crucial service and will ensure that Kerry has access to a major hub both in terms of growing tourism and in supporting the region’s economic development," he said.