The embattled Cork and Shannon Airports will have access to an additional €10m in capital funding as part of next year’s Budget.
It was announced that support of €31.3m will be given to all of the regional airports, with €21.3m being allocated under the Regional Airports Programme and the other €10m, directed to Cork and Shannon, to come from a separate exchequer-funded programme.
“We strongly welcome the Budget announcement of €10m in funding for Cork Airport and Shannon Airport as the Covid-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on business at the airports," said a spokesperson for the airport.
"Passenger traffic at Cork Airport is down 91% compared to last year and more than half of its airline customers have withdrawn their services,”
“Cork Airport, which was the State’s fastest-growing airport in 2019, is facing losses of €20 million this year. Prior to this funding announcement, Cork was the only regional airport in the State that had not received direct Exchequer funding,” they added.
Hildegarde Naughton, Minister of State for International and Road Transport and Logistics, confirmed the additional support for the airports which have suffered record low passenger numbers due to the covid restrictions.
“As part of this budget, we will provide exchequer support of €31.3m to our regional airports. Under the Regional Airports Programme €21.3m will be provided in 2021," Ms Naughton said.
"This programme will ensure ongoing regional connectivity through our Public Service Obligation (PSO) air services on two routes, Donegal/Dublin and Kerry/Dublin as well as enabling the progression of a number of diverse capital projects at our smallest regional airports - Donegal, Kerry and Ireland West.
“For the first time, in recognition of the devastating effects of Covid, Shannon and Cork Airports will have access to capital funding under a separate €10m Exchequer-funded programme.
"This funding will go some way to protect the cash position of the companies in dealing with the crisis. There will also be additional funding of €15m to ensure that customers of insolvent travel agents and tour operators may be refunded in full,” she added.