RYANAIR is scrapping its Cork-Dublin route, the only domestic flight left at Cork Airport.
Officials at Cork and Dublin airports were last night unaware of Ryanair’s decision to close the route in 10 weeks’ time.
Ryanair said last night that its decision to shut the route was due to the improved motorway between the two cities and also because of the high charges at the Dublin Airport Authority.
This news will come as a blow to businesspeople and the passengers who relied on the service as it was the only flight left between Ireland’s two biggest cities.
A spokeswoman for Cork Airport said that the airport is “disappointed” by the news but added it has received no formal communication indicating that the flights are ending.
She said that there was a drop in passenger numbers on the route in recent years but it added that its passenger and landing charges have not increased since 2004. “Cork Airport is aware that the Cork-Dublin route is a strategic link for the greater Cork region and will continue its endeavours to deliver a more appropriate, long-term sustainable solution to air connectivity between the two cities.”
Ryanair started a Cork-Dublin route in 2005 with many flights daily. Its low fares eventually pushed other carriers off the route.
Cork Airport chief executive, Pat Keohane, recently said domestic travel from the airport has fallen by 88% in the last four years. He said no airline would consider competing against Ryanair.
Mr Keohane said the motorway network had almost wiped out domestic air travel. Irish Rail is also offering low fares for passengers who book weeks in advance.
Earlier this month, Ryanair boss, Michael O’Leary said the Government’s decision to retain the €3 travel tax will damage the economy.
Ryanair said any passenger who has a flight booked after October 30 on the route is entitled to a full refund.
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