BUSINESS leaders are hoping the results of a survey may convince an airline carrier to re-launch the Cork-Dublin flights which Ryanair is pulling from next month.
The survey of nearly 500 businesses — carried out by the Cork and Dublin chambers — revealed that while 47% travel by road a substantial 30% chose to fly, with a further 23% favouring the train.
The survey results, given to the Irish Examiner yesterday, followed a high-level meeting attended by representatives of Cork Airport, Cork Chamber, Cork city and county councils, the Irish Hotels’ Federation, the Cork Business Association and Enterprise Ireland.
All expressed confidence in the viability of the route with the appropriate business model.
Cork Chamber chief executive Conor Healy said: “The high propensity of Cork’s business community travelling between Cork and Dublin for business reasons was instantly validated by the overwhelming response to the survey.”
He said the most important factors for commuters were timetable convenience, frequency of flights/trains, and the travel time.
“Respondents indicated a demand for two return flights per day as the optimum number of flights between Cork and Dublin, with the strongest preference to depart Cork for Dublin between 7am and 8am and a return departure time from Dublin Airport of between 6pm and 7pm.”
He added that a regular and frequent air connection from Cork to Dublin (and vice-versa) “is key if we are to support existing multinationals and indigenous businesses and attract further foreign direct investment”.
Gina Quin, chief executive of Dublin Chamber of Commerce, said the survey illustrated the strong business relationships between the two cities and said it was important this connectivity was retained.
She said it is now open for another carrier with a more relevant business model to adopt the route.
Kevin Cullinane, Cork Airport marketing manager, said management will continue to talk to airline partners “in order to deliver a more appropr-iate, long-term sustainable solution to air connectivity between the two cities”.
Mayor of County Cork, Cllr Tim Lombard, said he hoped other airlines would see there was a major need for the service.
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