Just 70 passengers per day travelled through Cork Airport in May 2020 compared to some 7,700 per day over the corresponding month last year, the Oireachtas Covid Committee will tomorrow hear.
Delegations from the country’s airports and airlines are to appear in front of the Oireachtas Covid Committee — the three airports under the control of the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) including Cork Airport are currently losing €1 million a day because of the travel restrictions.
TDs will hear that passenger numbers at Dublin Airport remain almost 99% lower than 2019 levels. During the period May 28 – 3 June 3, 2020, an average of 2,000 passengers per day travelled through the airport in comparison to 100,000 passengers handled in the same period in 2019.
By the end of 2020, projections are that passenger numbers at Dublin Airport are likely to be less than 9 million — down 73% on 2019.
In 2021, traffic could potentially be as low as 21 million passengers at Dublin and Cork airports — some 40% lower than 2019 levels.
In its submission, Ryanair will argue that Britain and the entire bloc of 27 EU countries should be placed on the Government’s ‘green list’ of safe countries, arguing that ongoing restrictions are “disjointed, ill-thought-out and out of sync” with the rest of Europe.
Ryanair will note that we have the 5th highest case rate per million people in Europe, substantially higher than countries with which we are now restricting travel. The airline will say that the limited risk posed by air travel to and from Ireland was recently referenced by the Health Minister, Stephen Donnelly, who confirmed that 9 out of 10 cases of Covid-19 were sourced directly here and not through international travel.
Ryanair is demanding that the Government immediately add all EU27 and Britain to the Green List so that Ireland can reopen for business travel.
It also wants to see the Government put in place initiatives similar to those in Britain and Spain where employers are incentivised to retain people in employment. In Britain a £1,000 bonus is paid to employers for each employee they keep in employment until Jan 21, the airline will point out.
In its opening address, the DAA will say that while it welcomes the publication of the green list, travel to the 15 named countries in 2019 represented only 9% of our traffic and given current load factors and frequencies, even if every seat on a green list flight was sold, we wouldn’t add much more than 100,000 to the passenger numbers currently flying in any month — which is less than a single normal day.
The Department of Transport and Aer Lingus will also be among the groups to appear before the committee tomorrow.