Leasing key to Cork Airport, says European Affairs Minister

Cork Airport should position itself as a global aircraft leasing hub to take advantage of the multi-billion euro industry, according to European Affairs Minister Dara Murphy.

Last week, the airport closed a deal with Weston Aviation to open a new business aviation centre there.

The imminent arrival of the UK-based aviation company which will provide the first hangar service for executive aircraft at the airport is an opening success for management at Cork Airport in developing ancillary revenue streams which are crucial to its future success.

Following the long-term deal with Weston, further revenue streams should be explored to help support the airport, said Mr Dara Murphy.

“Cork Airport and the local economy would benefit from further ancillary services, such as, aircraft leasing and more air freight out of the airport,” he said.

“Ireland is already a world leader in aircraft leasing, with an estimated $20bn of the annual global funding for new aircraft deliveries, processed by air finance companies in Dublin and Shannon.

“I would therefore encourage the development of a strategy to attract air finance companies, such as Avolon, ILFC, and Gecas, to set up operations at Cork Airport Business Park and the old airport terminal building, which would provide ideal office facilities to accommodate air leasing companies.”

A leasing hub would not only add further to the airport’s coffers and help it compete with its European and domestic peers but would also have positive knock-on effects on the local economy creating spinoff jobs for graduates in accounting, banking and legal services, he said.

Creating ancillary revenues, including from a significant nearby land bank, has previously been highlighted as a priority as the airport fights to develop its route network and return to growth after a difficult period since Shannon was made independent of the DAA.

“We have no stake in the existing business park but we have a [50-acre] landbank there that in due course we might bring to the market as an extension of the business park to create an ancillary revenue stream because [they] are absolutely critical to airports nowadays,” Cork Airport managing director Niall MacCarthy said in May. “Ancillary revenues help keep your airport charges low.


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