There are fears for the future of two key summer routes at Cork Airport which are facing the axe even before the first flights take off.
CSA Czech Airlines last night blamed poor advance bookings for its decision to review the planned launches within weeks of its Cork to Prague and Cork to Ibiza routes.
The airline said that it will announce within days whether it plans to proceed with the routes or not.
The Cork to Prague route, which was announced last November, was due to operate twice weekly on Friday and Mondays from Cork and Thursdays and Sundays from Prague.
It would have added 13,000 seats available to and from Cork Airport over the summer.
CZA then announced plans in March to launch a twice weekly Cork to Ibiza service, operating from June 11 to late September. It would have added 8,000 seats to the airport’s schedule.
Both route announcements were hailed as positive developments for the airport, which has seen passenger numbers plummet in recent years.
However, concerns about the future of the Prague service emerged last month when its mid-May launch date was pushed back.
Concerns about the Ibiza route emerged over the weekend.
Despite confusion of social media over the weekend, the Irish Examiner has confirmed that the planned launches of both routes are “under review”.
In a statement last night, CSA said: “The advanced bookings for both routes in Ireland and the Czech Republic has not yet matched our expectations for the new services.
“Czech Airlines’ management is currently analysing the situation and will make a decision about the Cork-Prague and Cork-Ibiza services during the first half of next week.”
Cork Airport said that it was disappointed at the decision.
“Both services are eligible for Cork Airport’s new route incentive scheme, meaning Czech Airlines pays no passenger charges at Cork during the first year of the new route,” a spokesman said.
“A marketing support fund was also made available by Cork Airport to Czech Airlines to advertise and promote the new services.”
Fianna Fáil councillor Tom O’Driscoll said the review decision was disappointing but not surprising.
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