Ryanair has announced the reopening of its two-aircraft base at Cork Airport and the restoration of 20 routes across the UK and Europe.
The €200m investment will restore all of Ryanair's pre-pandemic passenger carrying capacity at Cork from December, and will include the introduction of new services to Birmingham and Edinburgh which are unserved following the collapse of Stobart Air.
The Ryanair network for this winter will include Alicante, Bermingham, Edinburgh, Gdańsk, Lanzarote, Liverpool, London Gatwick, Luton and Stansted, Malaga, Poznan, and Tenerife.
Its network for summer 2022 will include Alicante, Bermingham, Bordeaux, Carcassonne, Edinburgh, Faro, Gdańsk Girona, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Liverpool, London Gatwick, Luton, Stansted, Malaga, Mallorca, Milan Bergamo, Poznan, Reus and Tenerife.
The airline, which closed its Cork base last October, said the reopening will secure 60 Ryanair jobs and deliver thousands of tourism jobs in the region.
It follows months of talks between management at Cork Airport, the daa and Ryanair which has led to a decision to extend the traffic recovery scheme at Cork Airport to the end of October 2022 to incentivise Ryanair.
The announcement was made at the airport this morning where work is ongoing to rebuild its main runway. The airport is set to reopen to commercial air traffic from November 22.
Cork Airport managing director, Niall MacCarthy, said he was delighted with the Ryanair announcement.
“Twenty routes on sale from Cork Airport on the Ryanair website will ensure that Christmas 2021, Spring and Summer 2022 contains lots of travel options for our passengers,” he said.
“Outbound sun and city breaks and inbound visitors from the UK and Continental Europe is good news for jobs in aviation, tourism and hospitality and the rebound of our economy in 2022.”
Ryanair has now restored traffic to pre-pandemic levels for Summer 2022 in Cork, Shannon, Knock, and Kerry airports.
But it said the outlier continues to be Dublin Airport, which is set to have a reduction of 35% in Ryanair traffic for the summer season unless the Government and the Minister for Transport support the daa in extending the current Covid-19 traffic recovery scheme until the end of next summer as Cork Airport has done.
Ryanair DAC CEO, Eddie Wilson, called today on Transport Minister Eamon Ryan to urgently confirm the extension to the current daa scheme until October 2022, similar to the scheme at Cork Airport.
“This extension of the traffic recovery scheme will ensure that Ryanair will fully restore all of its pre-pandemic capacity at Irish airports in preparation for Summer 2022, securing Ireland’s tourism industry, and the thousands of jobs that depend on air connectivity,” he said.