Ryanair and Cork airport in talks about opening base for next summer 

135 people were laid off after the decision to close the bases for the winter. 
Ryanair and Cork airport in talks about opening base for next summer 

Mr O'Leary said the speed the bases open depends on government decisions. File picture. 

Ryanair has promised to reopen its bases at Cork and Shannon airport. 

Talks are ongoing between the airline and Cork airport about resuming services next summer.  

The airline announced their closure for the winter earlier this year in October  as the Covid-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on the travel industry. 

Chief Executive of Ryanair, Michael O'Leary has said the issue is not whether the bases would reopen but when as this depends on actions taken by the government to help the industry recover. 

The airline boss wants the coronavirus vaccine rolled as fast as possible next year in order to facilitate their recovery as well as some reduction in airport costs to provide discounts to customers. 

"They're [airports] definitely going to come back. The real challenge for the Irish government is how fast they are going to come back.

"We are calling for them to roll out the vaccine quickly in the first quarter of next year. 

"We need to see short term discounts at Cork, Dublin and Shannon airports for the summer of '21 and the winter of '21 so that we can pass on these lower fares and get visitors back into Ireland," said the Ryanair chief. 

Mr O'Leary said the discounts will be passed on to customers in order to attract visitors back to the country. 

"The Government needs to play its role in that. We have the aircraft, we have the prices but we need lower airport costs if we are to get that recovery in there quickly for the summer of '21. 

"The discount doesn't come to us, the discount goes directly on to the customer. You've got to get visitors back into Ireland, you've got to get them into the west of Ireland, into Cork and Shannon.

"The money isn't coming to Ryanair, the money is going to go directly to the business," said Mr O'Leary.

135 people were laid off after the decision to close the bases for the winter. 

Kevin Cullinane, head of communications at Cork Airport, said talks between the airline and the airport have been ongoing and that news of a vaccine has buoyed the industry. 

"We are in discussions with Ryanair about next summer and trying to grow and rebuild the route network out of Cork from April next year.

"On the back of the Boeing announcement and the purchase of the new aircraft, they will have 30 additional aircraft in the fleet next year. 

"And obviously the fact now in recent weeks we've had positive news from Pfizer and a swathe of other vaccine manufacturers and that has given the industry a bit of confidence going into the summer," said Mr Cullinane. 

Three services begin this month at Cork airport with flights to London-Stansted, Katowice and Gdansk. The planes covering these routes are not based in Ireland. 

Mr O'Leary's comments follow his airline's decision to purchase 75 Boeing 737 Max planes.

Ryanair has agreed to pay Boeing around an additional $7bn (€5.8bn) for 75 more 737-Max planes.  Ryanair already had 135 Max planes ordered.

The 737-Max, which Boeing now calls the Max-8200, was grounded in March of last year after two fatal crashes and was only cleared to fly again last month.

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