Aer Lingus pulls Lisbon and Nice routes from Cork Airport

Debt-saddled Cork Airport has been dealt yet another routes blow — this time on the double.

Aer Lingus confirmed last night that it will be axing its Cork-Lisbon and its Cork-Nice routes from its summer 2015 schedule.

“The Cork Lisbon and Cork Nice services, which were both operated twice per week in 2014, will not operate in our summer 2015 schedule,” the airline said.

“The services have been suspended due to poor levels of demand. Both routes were significantly loss-making.”

The changes will come in to effect from Sunday, March 29, when the airline’s summer schedule starts.

It is understood it will use the aircraft to service the Dublin to Shannon route.

The announcement is yet another blow for the airport, which has seen several routes axed, and its passenger numbers slide significantly over the last year.

Among the high-profile routes lost to Cork this year are the Warsaw and Krakov routes — which were transferred to Shannon — East Midlands, and several winter sun routes.

Aviation sources say traffic at Cork Airport is down almost 40% since 2008.

Earlier this month, Ryanair confirmed that it is scaling back its flights from Cork to Alicante, Carcassonne, Girona, Milan, and Pisa from three months to two months next summer, and confirmation is awaited on whether it will operate flights to Bordeaux.

Cork Chamber, which is spearheading a major campaign to secure independent and debt-free status for the airport, is preparing for a crucial meeting next week with the Government.

The business body, which represents more than 1,000 members in the region, is due to meet Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe next week at which it will call for urgent action by the Government to halt route losses and the alarming slide in passenger numbers at the airport.

Chamber president Gillian Keating said they will tell the minister that current government aviation policy is facilitating a situation whereby a debt-saddled Cork Airport, which is still under the control of the Dublin Airport Authority, is haemorrhaging routes to a debt-free independent Shannon.

Marine Minister Simon Coveney is also due to attend that meeting.

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