Ryanair has reiterated that it wants to develop services out of Cork Airport and remains in talks with the airport and its owner, the DAA, over landing charges.
The airline retracted comments on Wednesday after a spokesperson urged customers to use Cork Airport’s perceived high landing charges as an election issue.
The airline’s chief marketing manager, Kenny Jacobs, yesterday said that charges for existing services at Cork are not an issue and Ryanair is still planning new routes and expansion at the airport.
However, he said talks regarding charges for such services are ongoing, but positive.
Cork Fine Gael TD Jerry Buttimer welcomed the comments, saying: “Cork Airport is finally getting back to passenger growth and this really will be a huge boost to our city and region.”
Mr Jacobs was speaking as Ryanair unveiled its summer 2016 schedule, from Dublin Airport, where it hopes to have 11.75m customers per year at the capital’s airport and raise its number of weekly flights from the capital by 15%, to nearly 100, next year.
Significant expansion of existing routes and the addition of a new one to Amsterdam form the backbone to the schedule and the airline said it will deliver 70% of the growth at Dublin this year.
Overall, Ryanair is set to increase its passenger numbers by 12%, in its current financial year, to around 103m people.
Dublin Airport managing director Vincent Harrison welcomed the news, saying Ryanair is an important customer for the airport and the announcement is good news for Irish business and tourism, “particularly as a recent economic study highlighted the huge importance of Dublin Airport as an engine of growth for the Irish economy”.
Ryanair was joined at its schedule launch yesterday by Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe.
He reiterated the need for a second main runway at Dublin, but said there was no merit in a second airport for the capital.
He also said the Government will select soon a preferred model option from a shortlist of six for a rail-link between Dublin city centre and the airport and beyond.
Ryanair’s chief commercial officer, David O’Brien, said talks regarding Ryanair providing feeder/connector flights to IAG/ Aer Lingus’s long-haul services are ongoing and positive.
Mr Jacobs said Ryanair wants to grow everywhere, but the next year will particularly see Germany, the country with the lowest low-fares carrier penetration in Europe, as the main focus.
The airline wants to expand its 5% market share there to between 15% and 20% in the next five years.
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